When shopping for used cars, consumers often wonder if the sticker price is set in stone—or if there is room for them to haggle with the dealer. Of course, some consumers don’t want to go back and forth in a negotiation, finding it to be stressful, and that’s well within your rights. If that’s where you stand, then it’s important to simply seek out used cars where the sticker price falls within your budget. For those who are willing to negotiate, though, you often can get the dealer to knock a few bucks off the sticker price. The question is how.
How to Negotiate Used Car Price
For starters, it is important to understand that, in this scenario, knowledge really is power. Most consumers do not feel confident to negotiate because they simply are not as knowledgeable as their dealer is; they have no real basis on which to assert themselves. That’s why the single best thing you can do is to research a vehicle thoroughly before buying. Ask the dealer for a CarFax report, and use sites like Kelley Blue Book to determine the basic value of the vehicle. Be equipped with facts to embolden your negotiation.
Tips for Negotiating Used Car Price
Beyond that, here are some tips that we recommend:
-Try to find cars that are around two years old, maybe a little more, and negotiate for those. The reason for this is simple: These cars are still going to be in great shape, yet they will have lost close to half their original value, which means you should be able to get a really solid vehicle for a truly affordable price.
-Make sure you know what its real value is. This is so important we’re saying it twice. Use sites like KBB to get a feel for roughly how much the vehicle should cost you, and understand that the dealership will need to mark it up a bit in order to turn a profit.
-If you’re not paying in cash, research financing rates before you visit your dealer, and avoid getting talked into financing at the dealership that might not be in your best interests.
-Understand that dealerships usually mark up a car by about 20 percent—so you’re never going to get a discount of more than that. By making an offer that’s about 15 percent below asking price, though, you’ll be in a good and reasonable place for further negotiation.
-Understand that, as the consumer, you always have the power to walk away. Don’t settle for a deal that you don’t think is fair. Be willing to take a discount of 10 percent off the sticker price, but if the sales rep won’t give you anything better than that, leave. Provide your phone number and tell the rep that you are available if he or she changes their mind.
Follow these tips to a good deal on your next used car!