The three biggest purchases most people make are their house, their education and their vehicles.
Even if you’re looking to buy a used car, buying a car is a big deal and it’s pricey. Luckily, there is always room for negotiation.
Car dealerships and personal sellers know people are going to offer less than asking price. Usually, though, this means the prices are raised a bit from what they actually want to sell the vehicle for.
By negotiating just a little bit, you’ll probably still end up overpaying for the car, so you need to learn how to negotiate the right way so you actually do get a deal.
Here’s how to negotiate like a pro and save on your next car purchase!
Be a Negotiator
I bought a 2013 SUV at the beginning of 2014 from a dealer.
Sticker price was $29,995 and the payment would have been well over $450 a month with good credit, trading in my old car valued at $7,000 and signing up for a six-year loan.
After a few days of bargaining, I walked away with my SUV paying less than $350 a month. Some say I’m cheap, I say I’m a great negotiator!
Tips on Saving Money when Buying a Car
As the following article shows, if you’re planning on buying a car within the next few months, make sure to apply these tried-and-true methods to:
- Know how much you’re willing to spend – If you’re paying cash, have a set number in mind and do not go over that number, no matter what. If you plan on taking out a loan, look at your budget and see how much you can afford to spend each month. Also, think about your loan term before walking into the dealership. Decide in advance if you want a three-year, five-year or six-year loan.
- Low ball what you plan on spending – Immediately upon arriving, the car salesman will most likely ask you how much you plan on spending. If you say $15,000, there’s a good chance you’ll end up paying $18,000 or more once you add in taxes and fees. Always underestimate what you want to spend to the salesman.
- Do your research – The first car I purchased was a 2008 Toyota Corolla listed for $18,990. I negotiated down to $15,500, but went home to research the car before driving away in it. I looked up the VIN number online and sure enough it was listed as $13,900. I brought that paper in and the dealership had to honor that price. Always research the vehicle make and model to know exactly how much the car is worth and look up specific VIN numbers to make sure the car isn’t listed for less money elsewhere.
- Be patient – Finally, the best way to get the deal you want is to wait for it. This is true especially if the car is newly listed or new to the car lot. Naturally, people want to get the most for their money. If the car you’re eyeing hasn’t sold for a month or two, chances are you will get the deal you’re looking for. Be willing to tell the salesman “No” and that you’re going to keep looking. There’s a very good chance you’ll get a call within a day or two with a better price.
Negotiating a car is not for the faint of heart.
It requires knowledge, time and patience. Be realistic and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
There are plenty of cars out there and by researching and being patient, you’ll be able to get the one you want for the price you hope to pay.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, sales tactics and personal finance.