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Tips for Negotiating the Price of a Car

You’ve done a lot of research on the type and model of the car you feel is perfect for you. You want to go to the dealership to ride away the proud driver of a new car, but you do not want to spend a penny more than necessary. You don’t buy cars every week, which means you likely don’t know the art of negotiating. Here are some insights to help you get the car you want at the price you deserve.

Negotiate Without Negotiating

When negotiating with car salespeople, do not make it obvious that you’re negotiating. The way to do this is to tell the salesperson that the only way you’ll sign any paperwork is when you get your desired figure. After that, give the dealership your contact information and walk away brushing off any counter-offers that don’t meet your target amount. You’ll get a call if the dealership is willing to work with you.

If Possible, Handle Your Own Financing

Do some research on local credit unions to see if any of them can offer you affordable car financing. If you can secure financing on your own, you do not have to go through yet another dance with the dealership. That said, you may not have a high enough credit score to get a low interest rate on your loan, something that the dealership’s financing office may help you with. If you have no choice but to go through the dealership for your financing, be on the lookout for unnecessary add-ons like an extended warranty. The dealership may refer to such warranties as a “service contract,” “service agreement” or a “maintenance agreement.” No matter the name, it’s likely something you don’t really need and unnecessarily adds to the final price.

Follow-Up on the Weekend

If you have to follow-up with a salesperson, do so on a Saturday or Sunday night about an hour before the dealership closes. Car salespeople have weekly quotas they want to meet, and you could catch them in a moment of desperation. If you succeed, the salesperson could be open to working with you on your terms.

You can also try the same tactic at the end of the month. The main takeaway with this tip is that salespeople want to do everything they can to maximize their sales, and they often have a limited time to meet goals and maximize their commission.

Research the Car’s Current Worth

When figuring the desired figure mentioned above, back that amount up with current knowledge. Do some research through trusted resources to check the price of the car you’d like, keeping in mind whether you want a new car or a used one. Once you know the car’s current value, try to knock the price down from $500 to $1,000. You may have a hard time knocking down the price that much, but with enough persistence and the right timing, you may find a dealership willing to use its financial reserves to meet your request.

Don’t Forget Your Manners

With every phone call, salesperson conversation and dealership interaction, remain polite. You want to be aggressive and let the salesperson know you won’t accept anything less than what you want, but you can do so in a way that isn’t disrespectful. Car salespeople will be more willing to work with you and meet you on your terms if you make them feel like a human. Look for opportunities to make a joke to ease the mood; turn the tables on the salesperson and make them feel like an old friend.

Hopefully, you’ll succeed in buying your dream car for a great price. Best of luck!

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