Used cars are an excellent choice for the average consumer. They’re a better value than new cars. They’re always cheaper than new cars. However, you can negotiate to get a better price on almost any used car. Here are the top negotiating tips for those buying a used car.
Do Your Research Before You Visit the Dealership
Know how much the type of vehicle you want to buy would cost new. Have a rough idea of how much the car’s price falls as it ages. Some vehicles depreciate rapidly, while others retain their value. This information ensures that you don’t over-pay for a used car. It also helps you to know when the car is far below the expected price point. Then you can ask why it is marked down.
Know Your Budget Before You Enter the Negotiation
Before you enter the negotiation, know how much you can afford. Know your price ceiling in terms of total cost and, if applicable, monthly payments. If you have a hard limit and make that clear, they may reduce the price in order to make the sale. If you’re shopping at a dealership, they won’t continue to add extras like an extended warranty if they know you can’t afford it. They might be willing to come down to meet your price point if they know there’s no room to negotiate.
If you are paying cash for a vehicle, whether this is in hard currency or a set amount of money in your checking account saved up for a car, you’ll tend to negotiate harder than if you’re putting the car on payments. You also feel the pain of paying more, so you’re more likely to refuse extras, add-ons, and additional services. If you can’t pay the entire purchase price of the vehicle out of pocket, being able to put more down on the car can help lower the monthly payment. You also have the ability to negotiate more extras paid for up front instead of rolling them into the loan. If you have cash set aside to facilitate the purchase, it is easier to go take the car for an independent inspection before you buy it, too.
If you don’t have cash to pay for the car, arrange your own financing. Then you don’t end up arguing over the price of the car but have no room to negotiate better loan terms.
Leave Your Old Car Out of It
Consider leaving your old car out of the equation. Too many people argue hard for more money on their trade-in because they don’t know that the dealership will make up for it by overcharging them elsewhere. Negotiate the purchase price of the car by itself. Plan on selling it elsewhere. This could be a private sale to an individual or another dealership. This forces the dealer to negotiate a fair deal for the used car you want. If they offer to buy the old car, you can negotiate that knowing that you can reject their offer.
You’re always in a stronger position if you are able and willing to walk away. Don’t buy a car when you have new car fever. Don’t go shopping as a way to relieve your frustration because your current one is in the shop. Wait until the end of the month to go car shopping, because you’ll often get a better deal from salespeople trying to make their quota. You’ll get an even better deal if you can hit end of the year sales, after the latest models have come out.