Tips for Negotiating With Car Dealers


Negotiating with car dealers can be a daunting and intimidating task; however, if you want to get the best deal possible on your new ride you should know some negotiation basics. This article features six helpful tips for getting a good price.

Know your limit

You should already know your highest offer before you visit any car dealers, and once negotiations reach your limit, don’t budge. If the dealer can meet your price, they’ll sell to you. Don’t be offended if your offer is turned down. It’s nothing personal, salesmen also set limits during a negotiation and their goal is to turn a profit. If you’re unsuccessful at one dealership, simply move on to another.

Negotiate selling price, not monthly payments

While you’ll probably end up financing your vehicle, make sure you negotiate in terms of its overall price. You need to know exactly how much expense you’re committing to, despite how much nicer those monthly costs sound. When your salesman asks you about your budget for monthly payments, just indicate that you prefer to negotiate the selling price. Focusing on total costs will actually help land lower payments.

Focus on dealer cost and negotiate up

The dealer’s cost, also known as the invoice price on new cars and the wholesale price on used cars, is the amount referring to the car’s worth. You can get a good dealer cost estimate for your vehicle if you do a little research. The dealership has to make a profit, so expect the listed price to be higher than your estimate. Your first offer should be your lowest and you should work negotiations up from there. Working numbers up instead of down allows you to hit the dealer’s lowest possible price.

Wait for a counter offer

Before raising your bid always wait until salesman gives a counter offer. If your salesman says, “I can’t do that” to your first offer don’t jump straight into your next offer. You should wait until you hear the dealer throw out his own first offer, and then begin raising your bid.

Raise in $100-$200 increments

Start your bid low and try and keep it that way. Make the salesperson lower their price to meet yours. At the end if the day, dealerships want to get rid of cars and needs to make a profit, so if you place your bid just above dealer cost and raise it small $100-$200 increments, you’ll more than likely get your car at the right price.

Keep calm

It’s very important that you stay calm and assert confidence when negotiating. Yes, there is a lot of money being discussed and the situation can be stressful, but salesmen notice when you’re anxious and can take control of the negotiation. Keep in mind, you’re the one with the cash. You’re the customer and you can take your business anywhere.

Before you begin negotiating, you’re going to need to find a dealership and shop brands and styles to select your ride. Take your time with both of these decisions. Visit multiple car dealers before choosing one, and research options and prices ahead of time. You should never negotiate blindly. Remember, prepare yourself and stay within your budget.

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