6 Used-Car Negotiation Tips
So, you've made the decision to buy a used car. You've researched makes and models and settled on a few options. Or, you may have your perfect used vehicle in mind and are just deciding how to go about purchasing it. Wherever you stand in your process of purchasing a new car, paying the right price is important. Being able to negotiate (or haggle) is an important tactic to employ while shopping for a used car. You don't want to pay too much, and you don't want to buy a car that will break down after rolling off the car lot. Below are a few tips to help with the negotiation process.
1. Know Your Car Values: Whether you’re looking for an SUV, truck or car, it’s vital to know the value of the car you’re looking at before attempting to haggle on a price. There are many websites to visit in order to get a reliable used car price. The Kelley Blue Book, NADA and Edmunds are just a few of the sites that offer car-value tools.
2. Know Your Dealership: While knowing how much the car you’re looking at should sell for, what may be even more important is finding an honest dealership to buy it from. If you personally do not know a dealership, try calling local repair shops and asking for used car dealer recommendations.
3. Start Out Low, But Make It Count: When trying to negotiate or haggle over a used car price, many people are scared of insulting the car dealership. Offering too low a price may garner you the label of “tire kicker,” while offering too much can make the dealership see you as naive. Decide what you are going to offer before you venture onto the lot. Also, have the values you’ve researched printed out for reference. If the price of the used car is $10,000 but you’ve seen them selling for $9,000 on eBay or Craigslist, offer $8,500 to $9,000. Additionally, since you’ve already determined financing for the vehicle, make it clear that you’re willing to write a check for the car today. Here's how to get a car salesperson's attention: Say, "If you're willing to haggle with me on price, I'll write you a check today."
4. Get a Pre-Buy Inspection: This is a little-known secret that can save you from sinking money into a ticking time bomb or can give you a leg up on negotiating a used car price. While many people believe that you can get pre-buy inspections from private sellers, you can get pre-buy inspections on vehicles from used car lots, as well. Call your mechanic, and make an appointment for a vehicle inspection. These usually take an hour for a general check, but you can also pay extra for a more detailed inspection.
5. Be Willing To Walk: You’ve found the car. However, you and the salespeople can’t come to an agreement. Instead of spending more than you’re comfortable with or leaving the dealership feeling cheated, just walk away. Car salespersons are good at their jobs, and they want to make you think that unless you buy the vehicle then, it will be gone and there won’t be another. Just keep reminding yourself that there are always other cars and other dealerships.
6. Insurance Is Non-Negotiable: While you can't really haggle for insurance coverage, you can definitely find a good deal. Most importantly, you can find auto insurance that can cover you no matter what kind of car you drive, and no matter how you drive it. Independent agents are particularly good at comparison shopping and helping you save because they don't work with a single insurer. Because they have access to multiple companies, you can get several quotes to compare before you buy.