If you’re not used to it, then the idea of haggling over the price of anything might make you uneasy. This isn’t exactly a common practice when you’re buying almost anything else, but believe me when I say you can and should haggle. A large proportion of people who negotiate on car prices are successful in getting a discount, and the sales reps are certainly used to it. If you’re in the market for a new car, here are some tips on negotiating for the best possible deal.
Your first step is going to be all preparation. If you waltz right into a dealership and say you want to buy a car, then you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Do some research in advance, and find out the car’s list prices. Try to find an average, or even shave that down a bit if you want to pay even less. The best places to check are often branded outlets. For example, if you have your mind set on a Focus, check out a Ford dealer. You should also find out about all the engine specs and trims available for the car you want. Sure, you want to get a discount. However, you shouldn’t let yourself get talked into buying a sub-standard vehicle just because it’s cheaper. Furthermore, if you want to part-exchange your current car, get an accurate value on it. The more you can get out of it, the easier it will be to haggle.
The next phase is where you actually talk to the sales rep. While you should come off as friendly, open and polite, the one thing you should never do is let the salesperson know the maximum price you’re willing to pay. If you’re planning to buy the car outright, you should also avoid wearing this on your sleeve. The dealership will see a better profit margin if you choose a finance deal, so let them assume that’s what you’re going for. They’ll be more inclined to lower the price, and you can decline the finance offer a little later. Another good practice is starting low – lower than you’re actually prepared to pay for the vehicle in question. You should also remember that there are other dealerships in the world – don’t be afraid to leave if you’re not making any progress.
As a final piece of advice, I’ll warn you to avoid private sales. If you want to buy a car that’s out of production, a true collector’s item, then you may have your hands tied. However, when you go to an established dealership rather than a private seller, you’ll have way more rights if you come across any big faults in the car later. If there’s anything wrong with the car you buy from a dealership, and they failed to tell you about it when you were negotiating, then returning it and getting your money back is usually a very straightforward process. However, if you buy from someone you contacted through classifieds, recovering your money or even some of it can be very complicated.