Buying a car, be it used or new, can be stressful for many people. You want a certain car and certain features, you don't want to pay too much, and you're worried that the salesperson may push a different vehicle on you or trap you somehow. This has led some services like auto clubs and credit unions to start auto-buying programs where the organization arranges for special prices that are non-negotiable from certain car dealers. The prices are good, but the selection of cars may not have the vehicle you want. That means you have to go negotiate the price yourself. This is not as scary as you might think, especially if you remember these four key issues.
You May Get More Trade-in Value for Your Current Car Than You Realize
One is that your old car may help you get a lower price that's closer to what you want to pay. Always ask the dealer to evaluate the true trade-in value of your car; you don't have to agree to trade it in at that point. You may find that the value is more than you expected. If you're not planning to keep your car, you may have figured you'd trade it in anyway. But knowing what the dealer would give you for it helps you figure out if this is the dealer to go with
You Should Always Have Other Options
Always check out cars at a few dealers. Always have other options, even if you don't think you'll go with them. You want that power to say that X dealer has the same vehicle with Y and Z options for a better price; that allows you to ask the current dealer if they can match those features and price or even give you a better deal. Car dealers compete for customers, so this sort of price matching is common.
Ask for a Lower Price for All Cash Upfront
If you can afford to pay all cash (or bank-certified check, of course) upfront, you might be able to negotiate a lower car price. When you can provide all of the money at the time of purchase and don't have to go through financing or send in years of payments, you look like a more desirable customer because the dealership knows they'll get the money for the car. They know that you potentially being denied financing is not a thing that will happen. They may be willing to cut you a bit of a break on the price if you pay upfront for the whole thing.
Remember That You Do Not Need the Salesperson's Permission Not to Buy a Car
One of the fears that many people have about negotiating car prices is that the salesperson will be very pushy and not take no for an answer. Or they'll want you to explain in detail to their satisfaction why you don't want the car. You don't need their permission to say no. You don't need their permission not to buy the car. And you don't have to give them details. Knowing this often gives your confidence an inner boost that makes it easier for you to speak up when you want a lower price. You know you can walk away, and that's a big deal when you're negotiating.
Sometimes the dealer won't be willing to go lower than a certain price, and you have to make your decision then. But most dealers want to sell those cars no matter what, so chances are you'll see some movement on that price.
To learn more about negotiating new and used car prices, contact an auto dealer.