Buying a car can be exciting and daunting at the same time. All our lives we’ve heard about car dealers and the games they play. Still nothing prepares you for the day you actually come face to face with them. Negotiating car prices with dealers don’t have to be so nerve-wracking as long as you keep our tips in mind.
Consider your timing
As with nearly everything in life, timing is important. When it comes to buying cars, it’s best to shop at the end of the month. Why? Because this is when dealerships are racing to meet its sales quotas. Go low and chances are the dealer will give in, especially if he/she is desperate to meet his/her required numbers. Luck plays a hand when negotiating with car dealers during this time. You might have to check out more than one dealership to find the one that is more likely to accept your offer.
You can also save thousands when you negotiate new car prices at the end of the fiscal year or calendar year. These are crucial times for dealerships to make their sales numbers look fantastic so they do their best sell all stocks, usually by cutting prices.
Don’t rush into it’s-now-or-never deals simply because that is rarely the case. Even promotions held during the end of the financial year often go on for a few more weeks. Always ask for more time to think. For a purchase this big and important, that’s always a good idea.
Not only when buying a new car, you must be careful when negotiating used car prices as well. It’s a known trick (that surprisingly works like a charm) to tell buyers that the good deal you’ve just been presented will last only for a day or two.
Almost everyone who goes shopping for a new car or a used car comes in with a budget in mind. Whatever number you have in mind, offer or counter offer lower. Much lower and don’t be shy. In the end, that number goes up and remember, these dealers will always counter with a higher price.
Set a limit. And let the dealer know.
The real trick here is to have someone who’s not present during the negotiation set the limit, or at least make it appear that way. Tell the dealer that you and your wife agreed to so and so amount and not a cent more. Be firm and don’t squirm. Most dealers can’t do much to raise the price when it gets to this point.
Haggle, haggle, haggle
After bringing the car’s price down, haggle some more. Whatever fee they put on top, ask them to slash off half. We’re talking about dealer delivery charges and other in-house expenses they say they need to cover. Don’t feel guilty doing this because again, in the end, these guys won’t agree to anything that won’t make them profit. That’s the whole point of negotiations for them.
Ask questions but don’t answer them
It’s easy to feel at ease around dealers. Their ability to do so is the cornerstone of their success. That said, be polite but not too friendly. Try your best not to answer questions, especially about your budget. Giving them more information about you gives them the upper hand. However, go ahead and ask them what you feel you need to know, and how low they can go in terms of price.
Accessories? Warranty extensions? Brand insurance? Financing? Dealerships will make all of these sound like a good deal but they rarely are. These are the things you are better off getting on your own somewhere else, especially financing. Independent insurance will always protect your interests best than what they have to offer.
Saying no also extends to signing forms with blank spaces. Ambiguity has no place when buying new or used cars. While we are on the topic of forms and documents, ensure that all costs like stamp duty, registration, and other optional additions are itemised. This way you can see what you are paying for and how much.