If you’re purchasing a car second-hand from a dealership, you will inevitably get into a conversation with them about price. Many dealerships have the ability to reduce the price if you negotiate with them in the right way. There are, however, some things to avoid if you act rude or offer an unreasonable price, the dealer is unlikely to take you seriously, and you might be turned away. Here are some tips to help you negotiate your next second-hand car purchase.
Find out other dealership prices
One thing you should do before entering a negotiation is to find out what prices other dealers are charging for a car with a similar specification to the one you’re interested in buying. This will help you determine how much room there is to negotiate. Often you’ll find most dealerships do this themselves and set their prices at a very similar level to those in the local area. However, this isn’t always the case; you might find some are slightly cheaper than others with their listing price.
Start the negotiation low
A negotiation usually works by meeting in the middle, somewhere between your first offered price and the listing price. Therefore it’s best to start the negotiation lower than you’re willing to pay. This gives you some room to move upward into your maximum price bracket. However, don’t go too low with your first initial price, as this could be insulting. Keep it reasonable based on what you can afford. There is no set percentage discount you should start with, as it will depend on the dealer, vehicle and your budget.
Ask for extras
If the dealer is unwilling to come down to a price you find acceptable, but you’re still considering the car, you could ask for extras. A new set of tyres will save you money and improve your vehicle’s performance. In addition, these extras won’t cost the dealership as much money as they would cost you afterwards. The dealer will often have an in-house mechanic that will be able to do these jobs on their current salary. Breakdown cover is another relatively inexpensive extra for the dealership or an extended warranty. It’s a good idea to find out what extra services the dealership provides so you can use these within your negotiation.
Look for issues
If you’re looking for a car at a standard dealership, try to see if you can spot any issues that will help with your negotiation. This will be much more challenging if you’re buying a car from a prestige car dealership. They will pride themselves with stocking the very best quality cars and fixing any issues before the vehicle is listed. Look out for things such as slight issues with paintwork, high mileage and stains inside the car. Taking someone with you that has a vast knowledge of cars can be useful as they’re more likely to find subtle issues or concerns that could become a problem in the future. These things might change your mind about the vehicle, or you can ask for more discount to cover the cost of fixing the issues you have noticed.
Ask them their lowest price
Don’t be afraid to directly ask the dealer for a discount or the lowest price they can offer. This helps start the conversation around price without needing to suggest a price yourself. You can then work the dealer down slightly by offering a counteroffer lower than the discount they originally agreed. This negotiation tactic can be helpful if you don’t feel comfortable or confident suggesting a price upfront.
Never pay full price
There is almost always room for the price to be discounted when you’re purchasing a second-hand vehicle. Never go in and pay the full price upfront without at least asking for a discount in a polite way. The worst the dealer can do is say no, and you can make the decision to walk away or pay full price. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know if you could have saved yourself £100, £200 or more. This money might be small compared to the cost of the car, but it can help to pay for any extras you want to buy for your new car or pay for you to fill it up with fuel.