Buying a new car can be an emotional experience. It is important to take emotion out of the equation, so you can focus on negotiating a fair price.
Doing your research before heading to the dealership can depersonalize the process, making it easier for you to stick to your guns during negotiations. The following tips will help you properly negotiate the price of your next new vehicle:
Know Your Limits
For many people, buying a new car is a big financial investment. Having a clear idea of how much you are willing to pay for your next car can help you negotiate a fair price and avoid getting into debt over your purchase.
Start negotiations by presenting the sales associate with your research findings (ideally an industry guidebook page). Doing so shows that you are an informed buyer and they will be more likely to work with you to come up with a fair deal.
During the negotiation process, dealers will often try to get you to focus on monthly payments. Instead, remain focused on the total out-the-door price of the vehicle and be prepared to walk away if you aren’t satisfied. This will save you time and stress in the long run.
Do Your Research
Dealership salespeople are less likely to push around an informed buyer. Before you head to a dealership, use online resources like Kelly Blue Book and Autotrader to determine what the car should cost and its fair market value.
For new cars, this can be especially helpful. Automakers often offer dealerships and consumers incentives to buy a particular model, so it’s important to know what those are before you start negotiating.
You can also use online resources to find out what other dealers are selling the same car for, Jones says. If you find that one dealer is quoting significantly higher than others, consider reaching out to them over email. If they can’t match the lower price, walk away. You could end up saving money in the long run.
When you’re in the showroom, it’s important to remain focused on the car’s fair market value. Don’t let a salesperson distract you with talk of trade-in values, document fees and other expenses.
A common question a dealer will ask is how much you can afford to spend each month for the vehicle. Avoid this unless you have already figured out how much you can afford and have the numbers handy. Remember that it’s not only the car payment that you’ll be paying, but also fuel, insurance, parking and maintenance costs.
You should also have a quote from another dealership in hand. This will show the dealer that you are an informed buyer and can more easily negotiate a price. It will also prevent them from using your emotional attachment to the car as a bargaining tool.
Dealerships can charge you for various add-ons like tire protection plans, anti-theft devices and VIN etching. Keep your eyes open for these extras and say no if you don’t need them.
Dealers will often ask you what you can afford each month to negotiate a monthly payment. Avoid discussing financing and focus on the purchase price and fair market value of the car you’re buying.
You can also show a dealer a pricing report or comparison sheet from a website such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. This will put them on the defensive and give you more negotiating leverage. Negotiating with a car salesperson can be intimidating. However, with proper preparation and firmness, you can save thousands of dollars on a new vehicle.
Car buying can be exhausting as you browse vehicles, test drive and finally make a decision. Salespeople are well aware of this and may try to wear you down, hoping your impatience or hunger will lead you to accept an offer that benefits them more than you. If possible, bring a backup person to help remain objective and supplement your negotiating skills.
Don’t let a dealership dealer sell you on the “suggested retail price,” commonly known as the sticker price, for a vehicle. Negotiate the out-the-door price – which includes taxes, fees and delivery charges – and remember that a car will cost more than its initial purchase price thanks to fuel, insurance, parking, maintenance and unexpected repairs. Fortunately, with knowledge and preparation you can hold your ground and save thousands on your next new vehicle.