How to Negotiate When Buying a Car: 7 Auto Negotiating Secrets to Know

posted by Chris Valentine

You aren’t alone if you feel nervous when walking into a dealership. Reports show that 52% of consumers are uneasy when walking onto the lot. Dealing with a pushy salesperson isn’t an experience most people enjoy.

If you’re nervous about going to the dealership to negotiate for your new car, this post will help. Keep reading to learn seven auto negotiating tips that will help you get the best deal for your new vehicle.

1. Do Your Research

The last thing you should do when going to a car dealership is going in without knowing what you want. Look at the cars available to you and learn everything you can about them.

You want to have a good idea about the car you want before stepping onto the car lot. Make sure you understand the different trim levels and what each of them costs.

You don’t want to be caught by surprise when the car salesperson talks about the price. Figure out what you want to pay beforehand and try to get them to meet your number.

If you know what the car you want is worth beforehand, make sure not to let your salesperson try to drive up the price. It’s well established what cars are worth. Don’t let a car salesperson give you a worse deal.

2. Get Financing Before Buying Your Car

If you go into the car dealership without financing, you’re going to be at the mercy of the dealership’s financial officer. Talk with a few banks before going to see what they can offer you. If you can, try to have a bank pre-approve you for a car loan.

If you walk into a dealership approved for financing already, you can avoid a lot of the hassle when buying your car. Sure, the salesperson may try to get you to use their financing to pay for your vehicle. Make sure to tell them no unless they can offer you better terms than your other lender does.

You never know. You may be able to get a great deal if you come in with a competing finance offer.

3. Negotiate Each Part of the Deal Separately

When you’re figuring out monthly payments, it’s easy to forget about the total amount you’ll pay for a car. After all, you want to try and get your monthly payments as low as possible.

The problem is that getting your monthly payments lower won’t necessarily give you a lower price. It could be that your loan term was extended to get the number you wanted. You could end up paying more in interest when this happens.

Make sure to look at each part of your car purchase and negotiate each of them separately. Doing things this way ensures you won’t save money in one part of your deal and end up paying more in another.

4. Don’t Ignore Used Cars

Driving a new car off the lot is an exciting time for most people. You’re getting a vehicle that doesn’t have problems. The problem is, there isn’t always much room to negotiate when you buy new.

A used car can give you more room to negotiate.  The dealership could be working with bigger profit margins.

Make sure to compare a new car with an older one that’s the same model. They may have all the same features and be at a better price.

You can often also find discounted cars from the previous year as this year’s model is making its way to the lot. Dealerships want to sell the newer models so that you could find good discounts during this time.

5. Watch for Frequent Trips to the Manager

It isn’t surprising if there is some back and forth with the dealership manager from your salesperson. After all, the manager is the one who can approve the deals. Your salesperson will need to go back to them to confirm things.

However, be careful if it’s happening too much. A lot of times, salespeople will use trips to their managers to try and drag out the process. Their goal is to wear you down and distract you from what’s happening.

If you see this happening, make sure the salesperson knows that you don’t have all day. Have them sit down and keep working the deal with you.

6. Shop Around

You don’t want to be in a hurry when you’re shopping for a car. If you visit a single dealer and want to walk away the same day, you might be missing out on better deals.

Make sure to visit as many dealerships you can in your area. You want to get quotes from all of them for the car you want. Once you have these, you can compare them to figure out who offers the best deal.

There might not be much variance in the deals if you’re buying new. However, you can find some good deals if you shop around for used vehicles.

7. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for More

The best deals are the ones where both parties win. There may be situations where a car salesperson won’t budge at all on their price. Ask to see if something else can be included if you agree to pay their amount.

What you ask for can be big or small. It could be a minor repair like a new air filter or something bigger like new tires. If you can get the salesperson to agree to your request, you’re getting into a deal where both parties win.

Even if you don’t think you can get anything extra, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Step Up Your Auto Negotiating Game

You don’t have to accept the terms that are given to you by an auto dealer. Use the auto negotiating tips above to get a better deal for yourself. You never know what you can get unless you ask.

Once you buy your new car, it’s essential to keep up maintenance, so it runs smoothly. Head to our auto section to learn our best car maintenance tips.

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