Buying a car can be one of the most stressful purchases in our lives, let alone a used car with potential hidden shortcomings.
The process has more moving parts, more time-suckers, and more hidden costs than just about any other purchase you’ll make in your lifetime.
Let’s talk about how to negotiate to get the best possible deal for your money.
If you know someone who has bought a used car recently, you’ve probably noticed they seem to be negotiating prices with their salesperson like it’s some kind of game show instead of trying to get the best deal they can for their trade-in and savings toward their new car purchase.
You may not realize it — but you might be doing the same thing if you aren’t careful!
Here are some things you should remember before heading into negotiations with your seller…
Ask yourself why you want to buy a car
If you’ve never purchased a car before and the thought of buying one seems overwhelming, it might be time to talk to your parents.
Maybe they have purchased a car recently and have some tips for you.
If you’re trying to reduce the amount of time you spend driving, consider opting for a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Don’t be afraid to walk away
When you find a car that’s within your price range, you should be prepared to walk away if the seller won’t take what you were originally willing to pay.
If the seller doesn’t budge, walk away.
Salespeople will usually negotiate more for higher dollar items, so don’t go lowballing either.
The old saying is “when in doubt, walk away.”
Know your trade-in and savings
Do you know what your trade-in value is? What are the savings you’re getting on your current car? These are two of the most important factors to consider before heading into negotiations with a seller.
If you don’t know these values, do your research.
Get out there and find out how much your car is worth in today’s market.
It may be harder than it sounds to get an accurate price for a vehicle like this, but the effort will be well worth it if you end up walking away from the negotiating table feeling empowered and confident.
If you have to negotiate with someone who doesn’t want to budge, don’t give in! Know your trade-in value, as well as any potential savings from using a dealership financing company or leasing a new car.
If they have no interest in discussing those topics, walk away without giving in to their demands for extra cash on top of what you negotiated the price of your trade-in at.
Research the type of car you want
You should make sure you know what type of car you want before negotiating.
If you’re looking at a particular make and model, make sure your budget is set accordingly.
Ask about any recalls before buying
First, ask the salesperson if they are aware of any recalls on the vehicle you’re interested in.
If they don’t know and you can find it out online, ask them to take you over to their service department so you can look at it.
Negotiate the price of any add-ons
One of the most common mistakes people make is they don’t negotiate the price of add-ons like warranties, extended warranties, or car washes.
These are part of any car purchase and should be negotiated at the beginning of the process.
If you can get a $1,000 discount on your new vehicle by getting a warranty that covers up to 6 years/100k miles on it, then do so!
Take your time and think about it
Take your time and really think about what you’re negotiating for.
If you don’t know the car, you might be negotiating too low! It’s easy to give in when you don’t know what a fair price is.
A great way to find out what a fair price is is by doing research on the Internet.
Take your time and do as much research as possible to find a good deal.
If you are only willing to spend $6,000 for a car, there are plenty of cars out there within that price range that will suit your needs perfectly.
Just make sure the condition of the car meets your expectations before investing in it.