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17 Best Bargaining Tips When Buying a Car at a Dealership

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Americans love to bargain. It’s in our DNA. We love to get a good deal, and we’ll haggle over just about anything, from the price of a house to the cost of a new car.

When it comes to buying a car, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best possible deal. Interestingly, the more prepared you are, the better your chances of getting a good deal will be.

Here are a few tips to help you get the best deal possible when buying a car at a dealership:

Do your research

Know what the car you want is worth before you step foot into a dealership. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you should be paying and can bargain accordingly. There are several online resources, such as Kelley Blue Book, that can help you determine the value of a car.

Get multiple quotes

When you have an idea of the car you want, get quotes from multiple dealerships. This will help you determine who is offering the best price and give you more negotiating power.

Be prepared to walk away

If you’re not happy with the offer, be prepared to walk away. There’s nothing wrong with leaving and coming back later or going to another dealership. The key is to not get too attached to any one car.

Don’t show your excitement

If you want the car, don’t let the dealers know. The more they think you want it, the less likely they’ll be to give you a good deal. Bargaining is all about who wants it more, so make sure you keep your cool.

Don’t be afraid to ask for extras

When negotiating the price of the car, don’t be afraid to ask for extras, such as free floor mats or extended warranties. Most dealerships are willing to give away a few extras to seal the deal.

These are just a few tips to help you get the best possible deal when buying a car at a dealership.

Bring cash

If you’re planning on financing the car, that’s fine. But if you have the cash available, it can give you more bargaining power. Many dealerships are willing to give a discount to cash buyers.

Don’t be afraid to haggle

Haggling is part of the car-buying process, so don’t be afraid to do it. It’s all a part of getting the best possible deal.

Never focus on the monthly payment

If you do finance the car, never focus on the monthly payment. Instead, negotiate the price of the car and the interest rate separately. The monthly payment is just a result of those two factors.

Don’t be emotional

Buying a car is a business transaction. Don’t let emotions get in the way of getting a good deal. While the excitement of driving a new car is there, try to keep a level head throughout the process. Otherwise, if you let emotion rule, you’re likely to overpay.

Pre-approved for a financing

If you have financing lined up before you go to the dealership, it’ll give you more bargaining power. The dealership will know that you’re not as desperate for their financing and may be more willing to negotiate.

Sell your current car instead of a trade-in

If you’re planning on trading in your current car, you’re likely to get a lower trade-in value than if you sell it outright. So, if you can, sell your car before going to the dealership. You’ll get more money for it and will have more negotiating power at the dealership.

Get the perfect timing

There’s a myth that the best time to buy a car is at the end of the month when dealerships are trying to meet their quotas. While there may be some truth to this, it’s not always the case. The best time to buy a car depends on several factors, such as the model you’re interested in and the current market conditions.

Do your research and find out when the best time to buy a car is for the model you want.

Be patient

Finally, be patient. The car-buying process can take some time, but rushing into a decision is never a good idea. If you take your time and follow these tips, you’re sure to get the best possible deal on your next car.

Ditch the extras

When you’re buying a car, the dealer will often try to sell you extras, such as an extended warranty or rust-proofing.

These extras can add hundreds to the price of the car, so it’s important to be firm and say no. Remember, you’re there to buy a car, not to be taken for a ride.

Know your credit score

If you’re planning on financing the car, it’s important to know your credit score before you go to the dealership. This way, you’ll have a good idea of what interest rate you can expect and how many cars you can afford.

You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year.

Make sure you read the contract carefully

Once you’ve reached an agreement with the dealer, make sure you read the contract carefully before signing it. This is a binding legal document, so you want to make sure you understand everything that’s in it.

If there’s anything you’re not sure about, ask the dealer to explain it or have a lawyer look at the contract before you sign it.

Finalize the agreement before you leave

Leaving the dealership half-done is never a good idea. Make sure you finalize the agreement before you leave so that there’s no confusion later on. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself facing what’s called the Yo-Yo Scam Financing Scam.

Get everything in writing, including the price of the car, the interest rate, the monthly payment, and any other terms of the agreement. This will protect you if there are any misunderstandings later on.

In Conclusion

Following these tips will help you get the best possible deal when buying a car at a dealership. Remember, it’s important to be patient and do your research before making any decisions. And, most importantly, don’t let emotions get in the way of getting a good deal.

About Me

I've been in car sales and finance for over 20 years, working at the highest volume dealerships in the nation including Fletcher Jones, DCH and more. Want to pick my brain on finding cars, negotiating cars, and structuring car deals?

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