With four drivers in our house you can be sure the HH and I know a thing or two about negotiating for a car. Here’s a couple of our favorite tips to take with you to the car lot to make sure you get the best deal possible:
- Remember the sticker price is just a sticker. It is not their rock bottom price. Think of it as a starting point.
- Do your research. Know the value and worth of the car you are looking at. Make sure to let the salesperson know you’ve done your research.
- Have your own top dollar amount and don’t let yourself get talked into more. They are in the business of selling cars, your tenacity will pay off…eventually.
- If you have a trade-in, remember there is wiggle room on that end too. If they can’t get the price of the car to what you want, tell them you want more for your trade-in.
- The salesman will ask you what monthly payment you are looking for. Do NOT answer this question. They can get your monthly payment by giving you a 45 year loan, and still charge you an arm and a leg for the car. Know how much you want to spend total and stick to it.
- Shop around. It gives you negotiating power to tell the salesman. S/He knows you are not committed to buying a car from him/her, but for getting the best price for the best value.
- Don’t be in a hurry. You don’t want to be forced to take a deal that wasn’t right. If the car you had your eye on sells before you are ready to buy it, another will come along. Grandma was right: patience is a virtue.
- When in doubt, walk out. If something seems shady, just leave. No biggie. Social etiquette does not apply to car shopping.
- If you are buying a used car from a private seller, remember: cash is king. Not having to wait for financing to go through, etc. will be extremely appealing to a seller.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the sales manager for a different salesman. Sometime people just don’t click. You won’t be able to come to a mutually beneficial deal if you don’t see eye to eye.
What strategies have you learned over the years?
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