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How to Negotiate the Price of a Car

Information You Can Find in Our Guide:

Our free guide will help you understand the steps you have to take and how to obtain the benefits you are looking for.

How to Negotiate the Price of a Car

Knowing how to negotiate car price details on a new or used vehicle can save drivers thousands of dollars on the purchase of a new or previously owned automobile.

This is especially true if consumers take the time to research the current market value for the vehicle they wish to purchase before heading to the dealership.However, negotiating the price of a car is something that many drivers are not comfortable with, especially those who dislike confrontation.

Information You Can Find in Our Guide:

Our free guide will help you understand the steps you have to take and how to obtain the benefits you are looking for.

Fortunately, there are several proven negotiation car price tactics that can help even the shyest consumers knock some money off the price of their future car. For instance, shoppers may be able to save money by negotiating remotely or obtaining quotes from multiple dealers before making a decision.

To learn more about the different actions that car shoppers can take to get a better deal on the purchase of a new or used vehicle, review the information below.

What is the average car price for most vehicles?

According to a car price comparison conducted Kelley Blue Book (KBB), the average price of a new automobile ranges from $20,000 to $55,000, depending on the vehicle type and size. Average prices also depend on whether the car, truck, SUV or minivan is a mainstream or luxury vehicle.

For instance, the average cost of a small car is around $20,000, while the average midsize SUV sells for around $33,000. You can get the best car prices by understanding how your desired car stacks up against others of its kind. This will help you make sure the dealership is not taking advantage of you during your price negotiations.

How to Negotiate a Car Deal

Knowing how to get the best deal on a new car saves you money on the purchase of a vehicle and leaves you feeling confident well after you leave the dealership. However, learning how to negotiate a car purchase takes time, practice and research.

Before heading into the dealership to negotiate the price of a new motor vehicle, remember to obtain the following information:

  • The current market value for the vehicle you wish to buy
  • Car sale fees and sales tax in the area where you live
  • Different types of rebates or incentives you may qualify for, such as low-interest financing

When learning how to negotiate a new car purchase, visit websites such as KBB, TrueCar and Edmunds to research the market value of your desired vehicle, as well as the trade-in value of your current automobile (if applicable).

After researching the market value of the vehicle that you wish to purchase, visit a car dealership to test-drive the automobile and begin the process of negotiating for a better price.

Here are several car buying negotiating tips that can help to simplify this process:

  • Negotiate the “drive-away” price of purchasing the new motor vehicle, as this number will include all related fees, sales tax, incentives and rebates. Do not let the salesperson focus on monthly payments or other distractions.
  • Obtain quotes from multiple dealers and use these offers to negotiate for the best sales price. If you do not have the time and energy to visit several dealers in person, you can request each dealer’s best price by email. This comes with the added benefit of having the price in writing.

How to Negotiate a Used Car

When learning how to negotiate a used car deal, you can use several additional strategies to get a better deal on your purchase.

For instance, requesting a vehicle identification number (VIN) report for the specific automobile you wish to purchase, making note of any visible imperfections and submitting the vehicle for a safety inspection can help you to get a better deal on a used car, especially if the VIN report or inspection reveals negative information.

Once you are ready to negotiate the price of the vehicle, remember to present the VIN report, inspection results or any other information that can help you to score a better deal. Then, begin to negotiate for a better price until you can reach a fair agreement.

When negotiating used car price with a salesperson, making an offer of around 15 percent less than the vehicle’s asking price is a good starting point. You can then slowly go up from there.

How to Get a Dealership to Lower the Price

Can you negotiate a new car price after the dealer dismisses your first offer? Absolutely. It may feel uncomfortable to push back, and the dealer may appeal to your emotions or try to use logic to justify a higher price.

However, if you are confident that you are offering a fair deal, stay strong and do not be afraid to keep negotiating. Dealers count on you to become fatigued or to be too embarrassed to get a better price.

If a salesperson dismisses your offer or states that the sales manager would never agree to your price, there are several actions you can take. These include:

  • Conducting plenty of vehicle research before visiting the dealership. If a salesperson dismisses your offer, present any reputable research that supports your numbers. The salesperson may attempt to argue or claim that your research does not apply.
  • Increasing your offer slightly. Without giving into pressure from the salesperson or exceeding the lowest competing bid from your research, begin to increase your offer in small increments. However, make sure you know in advance the highest price you are willing to pay for your entire purchase (including taxes, registration and fees) and do not go above this number.
  • Politely ending negotiations and walking out. Let the salesperson know that you are ready to purchase the vehicle immediately if the dealer can meet your price. Otherwise, let the sales agent know that you will need to leave the dealership to give yourself time to consider the offer. If you threaten to leave the dealership after trying these car buying negotiation tips without much success, the agent may try to accommodate your needs to prevent you from walking away.

How much can you talk down a used car? If you are new to negotiating for a car and are not sure how much will dealers come down on a used car, keep in mind that even though car prices are negotiable, the salesperson’s job is to make as much money as possible from each sale. Therefore, talking a dealer down to a number that falls below the new vehicle’s wholesale price is unlikely.

Non-Confrontational Car Sales Negotiation Strategies

If you are wondering how to get a good deal on a car but the thought of haggling face-to-face with a salesperson is too intimidating, try negotiating from the comfort of your home. Once you test drive a vehicle and know how much you would like to spend on the purchase, you can handle most of the negotiating by phone or email.

If you are not sure how to negotiate a car sale remotely, send the dealership’s manager an email or contact the dealer by phone to speak with a member of the sales department.

You may receive a response that encourages you to head back into the dealership to negotiate, but you can simply respond by saying that you have already decided on a vehicle and your next step is shopping around for the best deal. If the dealership refuses to negotiate, you can simply thank the representative and say that you will look elsewhere.

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