Buying a used car is not like purchasing, say, a new iPhone, a laptop, or a vacuum cleaner. The price that’s printed on the sticker is not necessarily set in stone. Though it is not true of all used car dealerships, most will allow a little room for maneuvering—a chance for you to negotiate with the dealer and hopefully to knock a few bucks off the sticker price.
Negotiating in this way may not be something that comes naturally to you, though. In fact, negotiation is an entire skillset that will require some thought, and perhaps some practice. In this post, we’ll offer a few basic pointers about the negotiation process; for further questions, we invite you to connect with us at Get My Auto.
How Much Can I Negotiate Off a Used Car?
Before we get into the specific tips, it’s important to set the right expectations. How much can you actually expect to negotiate off the sticker price at your local used car dealership? There’s not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule here. Remember that, ultimately, the dealership is a business that needs to make money, and while the sticker price may leave room for a few hundred dollars worth of negotiation, you’re not going to be able to cut the asking price in half, nor anything even close to that. It’s smart to know the Kelly Blue Book value of the vehicle before you enter into a negotiation, so that you know about what its fair value really is.
What is the Best Way to Negotiate Used Car Price?
Some additional tips for negotiating the used car price include:
If possible, look for cars that are about two years old. That’s the point at which the vehicle still looks and drives like it’s “new,” but the total value may be as much as 45 percent less than the original manufacturer’s price!
Again, use online research, as well as KBB and NADA, to get a good sense of the basic, big-picture value of the vehicle you’re looking at.
Get a Carfax report, which will tell you the entire vehicle history and provide you with a better sense of its value—and, perhaps, some key points you can use to negotiate.
Don’t forget to do your research on your trade-in, if applicable, and make sure you factor that into your overall budget.
When you make an offer, propose about 15 percent lower than the asking price. You’re never going to get more than 20 percent, and 15 percent is a good, reasonable starting point.
Be ready to walk away if you can’t reach an agreeable compromise. Your willingness to walk away is one of the most powerful negotiation weapons you have.
Best Way to Negotiate Used Car Price with a Dealer?
Ultimately, negotiation is something you’ve got to approach with confidence—even if you’re sort of faking it! You can build confidence through information. Take some time to learn more about used cars by visiting Get My Auto today.