Negotiating a great deal on a car isn’t always easy. However, with a little research and confidence, you can be surprised at how much money you can save. Most dealers anticipate that their advertised prices will have some room for negotiation, so it makes sense to exploit this.
Here are 8 useful tips to make sure you get the best possible value when buying a car.
Choose the Right Car
To truly get the best deal on a car, you should first zero in on a make and model that offers good value for money. Negotiating a good deal on a car is one thing, but if the model is overpriced to begin with, it still may not be the best option financially.
Consider what you actually need in a car, as manufacturers can occasionally inflate the price of certain models by offering unnecessary features as standard. It’s also worth comparing the cost of the make of car you’re considering to other similar vehicles on the market.
Choose the Right Seller
Similarly, ensuring you get the best value for money also means you will need to compare buying options, as these can also vary substantially on prices. While dealerships are still the most common choice for buying cars, and are often a good idea for value, since they allow for negotiation, even local dealerships can differ in their value for money.
By researching dealerships in your local area, such as by searching “car dealerships near Waxahachie TX”, you can get a good idea of how your local dealerships vary on pricing, friendliness, and reputation.
Even if you are set on going to a dealership, it is probably also worth giving a cursory glance to other selling options, such as online car marketplaces.
If you are buying used, you can even consider private sellers and auctions. These arguably offer the chance for the best possible deals, but also come with a high amount of risk attached.
Research Prices Before Visiting a Dealership
The next step you should take, once you have a make and model of car in mind, is to investigate what kind of prices are available, and how much they differ.
Naturally, you will need to do this to determine whether the car is within your budget. However, it is also beneficial from a negotiating perspective, since it will help you determine what a good deal is for the car you’re buying.
The internet is naturally a good place to start for this, but it may also be beneficial to receive quotes from several local dealerships, too. This is because, if the salesperson realizes you have other options as sellers, they will be more likely to give you a better deal.
It also pays to research the price the car was purchased by the dealership from the manufacturer for. This will give you a good idea of how much room the dealership has to negotiate.
Keep Calm While Negotiating
Negotiating can often be a stressful experience, but to get the best deal, it pays to be calm. Being positive and willing to have an open conversation with the salesperson will not only make the experience more pleasant, but it is also likely to make them more accommodating of a discount.
At the same time, you shouldn’t drop your guard completely, as many salespeople will happily exploit this if they get the chance. In particular, don’t be rattled by classic salespeople catchphrases, such as “I don’t work on commission” or “prices can’t be negotiated”, as these are often just methods of manipulating the buyer into accepting worse prices.
Start with a Low Offer
In negotiating cars or anything else, it is always crucial that the first offer you make should be on the lower end of what you expect to pay. Salespeople today are well-trained, so if you start off on the higher end, it is very unlikely that you will be able to then get a deal for less than that.
This is also related to why it is important to research pricing beforehand, because while your offer should be low, if it is unrealistically low, the salesperson may dismiss you as not a serious buyer.
On a similar note, it’s good practice to never accept the first offer you are given by the dealership. As mentioned before, most dealerships anticipate that there will be some element of negotiation, so even if you are happy with the first offer, it is likely you can get a better deal.
Car dealerships generally want to sell financing on their cars, since it often comes with incentives that make it more profitable to do so. To this end, it is always worth discussing finance openly with the salesperson, as this may ultimately get you a significant discount.
While this is good practice even if you ultimately pay for a car outright, it is also worth seriously considering the financing deals on offer, since they may offer better rates than a loan from your bank.
Don’t Be Too Forthcoming
The salesperson is likely to try and use everything they know about you to their advantage in the negotiation process, so playing your cards close to your chest is always a good idea.
Mentioning what you need the car for, for example, can be risky, because if the salesperson realizes you urgently need the car, they may be less willing to negotiate. This will also give the salesperson the impression that you’re not necessarily going to buy a car on the day, which will make them more desperate to make the sale.
Request Extras to Get Better Value
When it comes time to finally buy the car, there is still probably a little room to get a better deal. Even once you have agreed on the price, it is always worth requesting whether the dealer is willing to throw in any extras at no additional cost, to make the purchase even better value for money.