Need a Car? Here are Tips on How to Negotiate with Car Dealers

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Have you ever tried haggling and realized you’re not good at it?

Let’s say you have extra money and finally decided to purchase your first car. A car is one of the daily essentials of a person. However, people still dread the day a person would have to meet with a car dealer. One study written by Carrol Lachnit from Edmunds.com mentioned the behavior of Americans towards car dealers.

One out of five Americans would instead give up sex in a month than deal with car dealers (or clean up the toilet rather than talking to a car dealer). If you’re afraid you’re not going to get a good deal or worry about haggling, I got you covered.

How to negotiate with car dealers

Let’s discuss how to negotiate with car dealers.

Be nice but cautious at the same time.

Have you encountered tenacious car dealers who won’t stop until you say “YES”? It’s great to be friendly with your dealer, but remember to scrutinize every offer they bring to the table as well. Car dealers have been doing this for years, and they can quickly increase the price of your deal or lowball if you’re planning for a trade-in.

Research about your vehicle

Don’t be unprepared when you enter any car dealership. Know the price of your vehicle – you can ask car owners through forums, try free pricing guides from websites, check different dealerships and see if they offer the same price.

One thing you can also do is start dealing through online means. You’ll have more time to research and avoid reactionary responses when haggling by negotiating online. Having this initial arrangement online will also provide you ample time to make a good response if you are still unsure.

Try to have pre-approved loan.

According to an article published by Chris Arnold on the National Public Radio website, customers without pre-approved loans are susceptible to dealers who may increase their interest rates without them knowing.

Did you know a slight 6 to 9% change in interest may cause a person to pay thousands of dollars? That’s a lot! A pre-approved loan will force the dealer to work around with the money you already have. With this, you can avoid loans that might further hurt your wallet. The pre-approved loan may also work as a bargaining chip for you. Hearing that you already have a pre-approved loan, a dealer may decide to offer you a lower interest rate than what is already available. That’s a win for you!

You don’t need all of those add-ons

After dealing with hours of haggling, don’t put your guard down just yet. Dealers often try to offer you add-ons such as extended warranties, protection plans, or gap insurance. Don’t fall for these offers just yet. Ask yourself if you need these add-ons because you can always negotiate for them later. It’s best to ask other dealers first to see what they can offer or ask from your regular insurance instead of getting it from your dealer immediately.

Don’t be afraid to walk-away

Once you correctly did your research and stood your ground during the negotiation process while maintaining an acceptable attitude, congratulations on making a sound decision on purchasing your car! If you’re not satisfied or feel that the deals they offer are too much for you, then don’t be afraid to walk away. Remember, you are the customer here, and this is your money, so you have all the rights to reject any offer that doesn’t suit you well. Don’t fall for their usual line that “the offer only stands today .”You have plenty of time to clear your mind before making this lifelong purchase.

  1. Arnold, C. (2019). “5 Tips For Buying A Car The Smart Way”. National Public Radio. Retrieved from https://n.pr/3umBiPW
  2. Cornfield, J. (2020). “8 ways to save money on the cost of your next car (Hint: It pays to be nice)”. CNBC. Retrieved from https://cnb.cx/3uvBYCJ
  3. Lachnit, C. (2014). “Half of Car Shoppers Say They'd Rather Clean a Toilet Than Buy a Car”. Edmunds. Retrieved from https://edmu.in/37wyve0
  4. Wilson, K. and Nerad, J. (2021). “7 Things Not To Do At A Car Dealership”. Car and Driver. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3um5CKt

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