Tag Archives: how to negotiate a car
I recently wrote a post about avoiding car buying mistakes that covered the whole car buying experience including research, test-driving and car insurance.
Now I’d like to get a little more specific and point out critical missteps that will cost you money while negotiating a car.
- Not realizing everything is negotiable! Beside the price of your new car, every aspect of a car deal can be negotiated. This includes the value of your trade-in, your financing, dealer add-ons, and more. Don’t assume any numbers the salesman provides are final.
- Negotiating a car at the dealership. If you negotiate at the dealership you will be subjected to all the car salesman’s tactics and ploys. These guys negotiate every day of the week, do you? If you negotiate via email, you’ll instantly counteract a majority of their high-pressure sales tactics. They won’t be able to show you pictures of their 8 hungry children or use the good cop/bad cop routine. Besides that, at the dealership you’re limited to a single offer which leads us to…
- Talking with only one dealership. A car is a commodity and you get the best price on commodities when sellers compete. Negotiating with multiple dealers is the key to finding the best car price. After you get price quotes from several dealers, go back to each one and ask them if they can beat your best price. If you only talk with one dealership, who do they have to compete against?
- Getting too many quotes. When you request car prices from multiple car dealers, it’s important to keep the process manageable. If you get 30 separate quotes from dealers across your state, it’s just too hard to keep track and manage responses. 8-10 quotes is about the most a normal person can handle. At same time, make sure you get a minimum of 4 quotes to keep the bidding process competitive.
- Letting the salesman know your target price. There are several methods you can use to establish a target car price, but never, ever mention your target price to a dealer. This number is strictly a point of reference for you, to be used to create a simple budget or when to consider making the deal. If you mention a number to the dealer, he’ll never go below that number. This is negotiating 101. Why would you voluntarily set a floor for yourself? Continue reading