Car Negotiating Secrets for the Savvy Shopper

Car Buying Tips

Know Your Numbers.

Always do a little research before you head out shopping. If you plan to trade in your current vehicle, make sure to get a few car value estimates. Know how much your trade in is worth and decide how much you are willing to accept. If you know what kind of vehicle you are looking for, take a few minutes to check out its current market value. Pay close attention to the specific model, trim, and features you are looking for. The deal is in the details.

Don’t be afraid to take notes and bring them with you. The more prepared you are, the more power you have.

Negotiate Remotely.

The first thing any sales-person will ask you to do is to come in for a test drive. This is actually something you should do, but after you test drive don’t be afraid to leave the car dealership. As a car shopper the power is in your hands. You can negotiate over the phone, text, email, or even through social media messaging. Hanging up a phone is a lot easier than walking out of a dealership.

Shop for the best price.

Check multiple dealerships for the vehicle you are looking for. Get an exact out-the-door price and then shop around with it. Tell every dealership you visit that you are shopping for the best price. Be sure to mention that you already have some quotes on a similar vehicle, and then wait to see what they come back with. Remember that you don’t have to give up any information that you don’t want to.

Be unpredictable.

There are many things you can do to keep a sales-person on their toes. Bring a small child with you, and use the child as an excuse to step outside. Take a break in the middle of negotiating to get something from your car. Go for a bathroom break, get some fresh air, or just leave the dealership in a hurry.

Keeping a sales-person on their toes will put the pressure on them to close the sale. They will give you their best price, cut you a deal, and even speed up the process altogether.

The final step.

One last thing to do before you commit to buying a new car is to ask for a breakdown of the pricing. Request a written breakdown of all the fees and taxes for the car you are buying. Then be sure to have them explain the different fees to you. Many car dealerships try to throw in extra fees and bogus charges to make up for the price cut they gave you. This final step is just to give you a feel for their honesty and integrity. You should always buy from a dealership that you trust.

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