How to Negotiate with a Car Dealer

July 26, 2017
When it comes to negotiating with car dealers, knowing your stuff and feeling confident is crucial to your success. There are several tips that are guaranteed to make it much easier to hammer out a good deal and often, a better deal than you would have thought possible. The trick to buying a vehicle from a car dealer is to use the web and your own common sense to sniff out the best deals. You can also find out how to handle opinionated and overly pushy salespeople. You will want to be in control and fully informed before facing one of the dealership's heavy hitters.

Do Your Homework

How the Internet Helps

It's no surprise to anyone with even the most basic computer skills that using the internet to find information is fast, convenient, and if you choose your websites carefully, deadly accurate. With that in mind, use your computer to find as much information as possible about the vehicle of your choice. This information will help you understand how to negotiate with car dealer sales people. Buying new means accepting the high sticker price for the new models within reason. When purchasing used, it often means finding a specific car or truck that meets your needs and going over it with a fine-toothed comb. Not only examine the requested prices in your area, but take the time to see what other regions are offering in the way of pricing as well.

When You Find Something

After you have done all your research and are armed with plenty of information regarding pricing, especially the invoice price the dealership paid, it's time to start negotiating with the car dealers. To avoid high pressure sales pitches, you can choose to start negotiations online. This way, you can take your time with counteroffers from the comfort of your own home or office. Some buyers might prefer negotiating online if they are concerned about the way they'll be viewed at a dealership based on gender, age, or other factors.

Stick to a Fair Price

Naturally, you want the best possible deal on the car of your choice. However, it is important to not low ball a dealer, regardless of whether you are communicating online or in person. It is seen as an insult and can quickly sour even the best of deals. Make sure you are armed with your information. Bring it with you to the dealership. You don't want to have to rely on their information alone.

How to Negotiating with Car Dealer

Be Prepared

Unless you are in the habit of purchasing vehicles on a regular basis, most people feel some trepidation when approaching a car lot. You can't help but wonder if you are going to get that salesperson. You know the one. The one who pressures you or makes you feel uninformed. This type of salesperson usually speaks quickly and overrides anything the potential client has to say. With any kind of luck, you will instead be greeted by a helpful, pleasant sales person. Either way, keep your research in hand and if you stay focused and calm, negotiating with car dealers on the lot can be a good experience for all involved. Preparation is a key in successfully negotiating with car dealer salespeople.

Online vs. On the Lot

There is no doubt that it is different negotiating with car dealers on the lot as opposed to via the internet. Heavy-duty sales pitches and that under-the-gun feeling that come with face-to-face negotiating can be difficult to overcome. Confidence is the key to keeping things going your way. Refer to your information as needed. Keep the conversation respectful and offer reasonable offers for the car during the negotiations. In other words, make the salesperson work for you, not the other way around. Most salespeople just want to make the sale. They will often work with you in any way possible to ensure you strike an agreement. Negotiating with car dealers online is definitely low pressure compared to negotiating on the lot. It is much simpler to keep your wits about you and talk about fair pricing when you aren't face-to-face with the staff. On the other hand, it is more difficult to make a personal connection with the salesperson and use that to your advantage. Online negotiating is also a challenge in terms of checking the car over for any flaws and ensuring you receive the exact make and model with the appropriate features you want. While there are pros and cons to negotiating online and on the lot, staying calm and being informed are always the best ways to get the vehicle you want at the best possible price.

More Buying & Selling a Car Articles

It's no secret that a car is one of the biggest financial commitments anybody can make, and there's very little about haggling with a dealer that simplifies the process. We're here to help. Our comprehensive stories on buying a car, new or used, will help ease you behind the wheel. Learn the tricks of the dealership trade, how to avoid paying too much, and what extra-cost items are and aren't scams. Selling your used car isn't much easier, and we'll help you prepare yourself and your car for a quick sale that won't leave anybody feeling ripped off.
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confused buyer
confused buyer

If a manufacturer indicates an invoice cost and a msrp for an accessory that is installed by the dealer, does the msrp include the dealer installation and final cost to the purchaser. I'm being asked to pay an installation charge for a remote start that is invoiced at $310.00 and has a msrp of $499.00. Shouldn't the $499.00 be my cost for the item installed?