In the used car market, there is always space for negotiation and an opportunity to get yourself a better deal for the car you want, as long as you’re willing to put in the groundwork and polish-up on your negotiation skills.
Even those who might not be naturally inclined to haggle with notoriously pushy used car salesmen should be able to negotiate their way into an ideal deal as long as they are adequately prepared and that’s exactly what this guide is for. So, whether you’re looking at an online car dealer with a variety of used cars or are planning on visiting your local car dealership, here’s how to confidently negotiate a better deal when buying a used car.
Know what you are talking about
You don’t have to be a car expert to negotiate a good deal, you just have to know a few of the main factors that can affect the price. Remember that the higher the mileage; the cheaper the car should be and if the service history is looking sparse, you should also be looking at knocking a little off the asking price. Then there are the more obvious defects to look out for – paint chips, scuffs, rock chips etc. should all be considered when negotiating a price. If the seller does not disclose any defects in the car before you find them, this could be a route to haggling down the asking price.
Know the year
The year the car was made is a great indicator of how much it should cost. Generally speaking, the older the car, the less you should expect to pay for it. If you’ve found a newer version of the same car then you can suggest to the dealer that you could buy the newer one for the same price and that you would consider buying the older car if it was marginally cheaper.
Know your options
Even if you are negotiating for your dream car, don’t let the dealer know it as then they’ll be holding all the cards. Specify that you have lots of options in mind, some cheaper and some more expensive, and this is just another option. Compare pricing options online first if you’re thinking of visiting a physical dealership and see what the market average is. That will give you a decent baseplate to work from. If the dealer wants to make the sale and knows you have got other options in mind, they may consider lowering the price to meet you halfway. If they know it is the only car you’re looking at and the car you really want, they know you’ll be willing to pay more for it and you won’t end up getting a decent deal.
Know when to walk away
Sometimes it can be just as important to know when you’ve got the best deal you’re going to get. If the price is already good then chances are you won’t need to negotiate a cheaper price, the dealer will know they have a competitive price so they are unlikely to have much wiggle room to work with. By pushing them at this stage, you could end up angering them and passing on the deal to somebody else because they know that someone new will likely come and purchase it for the asking price not long after you. So, if the deal is already good, take it while you can but make sure you’ve asked the right questions first because sometimes, it can be too good to be true!