How to Negotiate with Car Dealers for the Best Deal Possible

September 8th, 2019 by

So, you’re in the market for a new car, but you don’t want to haggle away three or four hours of your life? It’s easier to get through this process stress-free if you prepare ahead of time. Anyone can learn how to negotiate with car dealers so they can stay on budget and on track.

Ready to jump in?


Negotiating 101 – Start Low

When you first start talking about the price of a car, there is the list price shown on the sticker. Although many people believe this is the bottom-line price, this is not the case at many dealers. You can play with the price by working with the salesman.

To do this, though, you must start by offering a lower number than you’re willing to pay. The ideal way to negotiate any deal is to help both sides feel like they got a deal. You, as the buyer want to feel like you got the best price. The car dealer wants to feel like they made a great sale.

Leave yourself some financial wiggle room to compromise and make sure you don’t start out with the maximum price you’re willing to pay. Otherwise, you have nowhere else to go but out the door when they make a counteroffer.


Research the Car’s Worth

It’s important that you’re as educated on the car as much as possible. Of course, if you’re finding a vehicle once you’re on the lot, you might want to spend some time on your cell phone before you sit down with a salesman.

Find out what the going rate is for the car, whether it’s new or used. Do some comparison shopping between the dealer you’re at and those nearby. Find out if there is a similar vehicle nearby with a lower price so that you can use this knowledge to your benefit.

The important thing is to be aware of what you’re buying, what the general value is, and how many other vehicles in the area match what you’re looking for. This will give you more leverage if you find yourself in a price corner and need to visit another dealer instead.


Understand the Finance Plan

As soon as you hear a low car payment, you might want to jump in and accept the offer. However, you need to consider the entire package. How many years is the purchase plan for? What are you going to pay in interest fees?

With everything added together, are you really saving money or paying twice as much as the car is worth? Yes, you need to fit the monthly payment into your budget, but you don’t want to be upside down in value for seven years either.

Negotiating with car dealers includes knowing what your future financial goals are for the few years, so you don’t undermine those efforts with a single-vehicle purchase.


Comparing the Prices of New vs. Used

There are pros and cons of both new and used cars when you’re shopping. The price of a new car might be a little higher, but you also get the value of the included warranty. The warranty covers many of the typical expenses you’d pay for, including oil changes, filter replacements, and other parts.

Depending on the type of warranty, it may even pay for more expensive portions of the vehicle, saving you quite a bit if something goes wrong. On the flip side, a used car might still have some warranty left, but not a lot. Your price tag will be lower, but you also take the risk of having to cover major repairs.

If you’re able to pay it off sooner, you won’t be upside down in value, as you would with a brand-new car though. These are all important aspects to consider when you’re negotiating the price of either a new or used vehicle.


How to Negotiate with Car Dealers when You have a Trade-In

If you already own a car, you might want to trade it in and lower the price of your new vehicle. If this is the case, the dealer will want to appraise the car, so they can let you know what the car is worth to them.

Keep in mind this amount is negotiable as well. You don’t have to take the first amount they offer as the bottom-line value of your trade-in. Depending on how motivated they are to meet a sales quota, they might be willing to increase the value of your trade-in car by a couple of hundred dollars up or down.

This is where timing comes into play when you’re car shopping. During certain times of the year, the dealers are more willing to make you a better offer. This could be due to needing to sell older vehicles or simply make sales goals during a holiday weekend.

Either way, it works towards your financial benefit. Educate yourself before you arrive on both the trade-in and private sale values of your car so that you can negotiate more effectively.


Keep Emotions in Check

It’s fun to find a great car that you really love, and in the excitement of the moment, it’s easy to get emotionally invested. Do not do this. This is a car hunt that can be replicated at any time of the year with other dealers and even private sellers.

Remember your financial goals and don’t get invested in the deal before you sign papers and drive off the lot. If you can do this, you will stay objective in your price haggling and know when to walk away if you need to. It might not be possible to make the best deal at that site.

Your options are open, and you need to keep that in mind. Business is business and, in the end, you’re the one who’s going to be paying the price. Stay smart, educated and on point, and you’ll be able to set up the best purchase plan for you.


We Want to Help!

Have you decided you’re ready to buy another car? Our professionals are prepared to help you learn all you can about how to negotiate with car dealers. It’s a skill you’ll use every time you replace a vehicle, and you can share it with family and friends.

Saving money and getting a newer car are two goals many people share. Why not use the information that’s available to make the most of your time with the least amount of stress? Contact us and let us lead you through the process today!