Another resource that was of great help was doing research on dealer processing fees or "doc fees".
These are the fees that dealers charge you to process the paperwork and DMV work.http://www.ehow.com/facts_6764516_doc-f ... -car_.html
Some states regulate these fees and set caps on what dealers can charge. Others, like VA and NC do not, so the dealer is left to charge whatever they think they can get away with.
The trick is that the dealers don't mention the fee until you've shook hands on a agreed price. Many dealers use the fee as a way of adding pure profit back into the transaction after the deal is done.
ALWAYS ask what the doc fees are up front, before agreeing to anything.
The NC dealer who quoted my car wanted $499 in doc fees.
The VA dealer, from whom we bought the car, asked $299.
I told them that they were too high and to knock another $200 off the sale price. They agreed to do that.