How to negotiate the best price on a used car
Can you negotiate with car dealers?
Don’t go shopping until you have a clear idea of the car you want. Make sure you know what the car you’re after is worth and how popular it is. This will keep you focused and less vulnerable to a tough sell from someone that may want an easy commission or quick sell.
Remember, the hottest and most in-demand models will be getting a higher price. So think about what you really want.
You sure can! If you are looking for a specific or hard to come by model, this might cost you more, otherwise, make sure you’re ready to bargain.
Try and get roughly 15 percent knocked off the ticket price. More if you’re paying cash. If the car’s already at a good sale price, or you’re getting a high value trade in, you might not get anything else off.
If the seller won’t budge on price, see if you can get optional repairs or extras thrown in for free.
13 Tips for negotiating with used car with dealers:
- Have a good idea what kind of vehicle you’re in the market for and what features are most important to you.
- Know your pricing before you set foot on a car yard. Edmunds true pricing can help with this.
- Print out any deals you’ve seen and details on prices – it might help when closing your deal to encourage price matching.
- Play it cool, don’t say too much too soon and see what the seller offers you.
- Don’t tell them what your spending limit is.
- Know that sticker prices tend to be a bit inflated because dealers expect some room for negotiation.
- Try to visit the dealership after hours so you can have a good look around without being hassled by a sales person.
- Visit to buy on weekdays when there are less people in the yard.
- Only go when you have plenty of time.
- Don’t let them pressure you. The ‘today only special deal’ won’t be the only one they’ll offer. Only buy when you’re sure you’ve checked out all your options.
- Avoid the ‘extras’. Salespeople will often offer things like rustproofing, maintenance packages and other add-ons. These aren’t usually good value and hike the price up quickly.
- Be prepared to walk away. Put your offer on the table and leave. Call back on at the end of the month, or last thing on a Sunday. Or on a day with terrible weather. They might be keen to make the sale.
- Go to several different dealers and don’t buy until you’re 100% sure.
Also, if you can, try to purchase your car near at the very end of the month, or the first few weekdays of the beginning of the month when salespeople might be trying to make their monthly quotas. They will be more likely to bend on pricing and add options.
Trade in tips
You’ll most likely get better money for your old car if you sell it yourself, but sometimes the convenience of buying a new car and trading in the old all in one go appeals. If you’re going for the trade-in option here are some tips.
- Know what your old car is worth. Go online and figure it out. Sites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and Autotrader are good places to start.
- Print out these online estimates before you head to the dealership – it might help you negotiate a better deal.
- Dealers often have deals on trade-ins, so keep an eye out for these.
- Make sure your car is in good working order and note any recent modifications such as new tires.
- Bring your service records.
- Make sure your car’s clean and tidy.
Not matter what your game plan is, do your research, go shopping, make an offer, and have some fun!