5 Car Negotiating Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Deal

Do not doubt for a moment that car salesmen are good at their jobs. If they were unable to separate you from your money, they wouldn’t have a job for long. And they’ll use every underhanded trick in the book to get as much money as they can out of you. It’s what they do. As a consumer, it’s your job to get the lowest price possible, and when it comes to buying a car, you’re going to have to negotiate if you want to get the best deal. Here are just a few tips and tricks that should help you to achieve your goal and stick to your budget.

  1. Know your stuff. The first thing you need to do when it comes to buying a car is homework. It’s important to figure out what kind of car you want on paper first, so compare specs and road tests and read reviews and consumer reports. When you’ve narrowed down your options to, say, two or three cars that are in the running, put together a spreadsheet that features pertinent information like pricing and specs for quick comparison. Only then should you start hitting dealerships to take test drives and start feeling out what kind of deal they’re willing to offer in order to keep you from going to their competitors.
  2. Comparison shop online. Although automakers create a recommended MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), dealers have a lot of latitude when it comes to pricing, and you should know that they’re in it to make a profit, so they can certainly jack up the price with fees and add-ons. The result is that prices will vary from one dealership to the next. And companies that operate online may be able to offer lower prices due to the fact that they don’t have the same overhead as a dealership. So you should definitely take the time to check out prices online, as well as call around to other dealerships in your area for quotes. This will give you some leverage to negotiate for a better price at your local dealership, or go somewhere else to get it.
  3. Tell them you’re not buying today; then don’t. Any salesman worth his salt will give you the full court press if he thinks he can get you out the door with a car today. He’ll employ all kinds of tactics, playing on your emotions, making reasonable arguments, and so on. But if you make it clear that you are in no way prepared to purchase a car, insisting that you’re going to test drive other vehicles before making a decision, you might get him to drop his guard. Negotiating is a psychological process and if you can get the salesman into a position where he has to beg you to buy rather than pushing a hard sell, you’re likely to get a better offer. And it could improve if you hold out.
  4. Walk away. If you have a set price in mind and a dealer won’t meet it, you must be willing to walk away. Do not waffle or you’ll end up paying more than you want to. An inflexible salesman is a rare thing, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that you’ll meet one that is actually willing to let you walk away when you’re clearly prepared to buy.
  5. Get loan approval beforehand. When you have a set amount you’ve been approved for, whether you’ve gone to the bank or you’ve discovered that eTitleLoans provides car title loans in Florida, California, and other states, knowing what you have to spend up front can make the negotiating process pretty simple. If the salesman keeps trying to upsell you, just remind him that you’re working with a budget. Of course, you probably shouldn’t reveal the exact amount of your pre-approved loan. Hit him at a lower number first so you have some room to negotiate, while knowing full well what your upper limit is.

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