7 Tips To Negotiate With A Used Car Dealer

7 Tips to Negotiate With a Used Car Dealer

May 22, 2024

Some people are naturally good at bargaining, while others may find it challenging. But when it comes to buying a car, everyone should try to negotiate. Why? Because it can save you money!

The more you know about the car you want to buy, the better you can negotiate with the dealer. Before you head to the dealership, you should know a few things to negotiate effectively.


Here are a few tips to successfully negotiate the price at a used car dealership:


1. Conduct thorough research

Before buying a car, it's crucial to do your homework. You want to ensure you get a good deal on a quality vehicle. The first step is to know how much the car you're interested in is worth. Look up similar cars that have been sold in your area to get an idea.

Next, figure out how much you can afford to pay. Determine the value of your current car if you plan to trade it in. Then, consider any cash you have, or if you're getting a loan, get pre-approved. Add all these up to come up with a realistic budget.


2, Be confident, but not pushy

When you're negotiating for a lower price on a used car, how you speak and act matters. It's good to be confident, but not too pushy. Being too forceful might not work out well. Salespeople have encountered it before, and it only makes them more determined to get a higher price or even ask you to leave. But also, don't sound unsure when you talk – you should state your price firmly.

Even if things aren't going as smoothly as you'd like, try to stay calm. Getting frustrated or angry won't help your negotiation. It's important to stay pleasant and easy to work with, as it can improve your chances of getting a better deal.


3. Do not focus only on monthly payment

It's crucial not to get too caught up in the monthly payment when buying a car. Dealers might adjust other factors to meet your desired monthly payment, but you could end up paying more in other areas. While the monthly payment should fit your budget, it's better to concentrate on the overall price of the car. When discussing, ask for the total cost, including all fees and taxes - what's known as the "drive-away" or "out-the-door" cost, rather than just the MSRP or sticker price.


4. Know your walk-away price

Before you start negotiating, decide the highest price you're willing to pay for that specific car. This helps you stay firm during the negotiation. If it cannot be agreed upon, be ready to leave. This gives you more power when negotiating for your car. Tell the dealer you'll only agree to the deal if it meets your target price. If they don't meet it, politely decline their offers and be prepared to walk away.


5. Know what can and can’t be negotiated

Understand what you can and can't negotiate in a car deal. Don't waste time discussing things the dealership can't change. Focus on the numbers they have control over instead.


6. Check the Carfax report

Make sure to check the vehicle history report if you're interested in buying a used car. Ask the dealer for it, or you can get one from CARFAX Canada. This report tells you if the car has had any recalls or defects in the past. Knowing this information can help you decide if the car is worth buying and give you an advantage when bargaining.


Read: How to Get a Free CARFAX Vehicle History Report 


7. Get a pre-purchase inspection done

Consider hiring an independent licensed mechanic to inspect the car before you buy it. They'll give you a detailed report on the car's condition. If they find any problems, you can use that information to negotiate a lower price.


Read: The Importance of Pre-Purchase Inspection for Your Car


In conclusion, negotiating with a used car dealer requires preparation and confidence. With these strategies, you can approach the negotiation process with clarity and increase your chances of securing a favorable deal.