How to Respectfully Negotiate a Better Deal on Your Car
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
For many, buying a new car is an exciting experience. In most cases, they say goodbye to something old in favor of a newer model with more bells and whistles. Perhaps someone gets a vehicle that will save them money on gas, a promise an old vehicle cannot make. However, all these good things come with one caveat — negotiating the price of the new car first.
Not everyone's a born negotiator. Even if someone is, they're up against the best of the best. Car salesmen and women work all day long making deals on their stock, while most car owners spring for a new vehicle every six years, according to Autotrader. Here's how to get the best price on a vehicular purchase smartly and respectfully.
1. Prepare in Advance
Unless buying from an individual seller, people will be dealing with a seasoned car salesperson. As such, they'll have all the facts before someone arrives. They'll know the value of the car a person has in mind, their competitors' prices and how much they've sold the same model for in recent weeks.
Buyers should figure out the price of the car they want. They can dig deeper and find how much fellow car buyers have spent, and might even be able to find a projected invoice price, which will show what the dealer paid for the car. This information will help during negotiations — the seller won't be low-balled on the price, and the buyer will still be able to get a better deal.
2. Keep Options Open
Whether or not someone is flexible about the make and model of the desired car, they should visit different dealerships before settling on a particular price or deal. If the salespeople know someone is shopping around, they'll do their best to earn business — including offering a better price.
People should not be discouraged when perusing a dealership's website and finding they don't have the model or features desired. Most dealerships can ship one in from elsewhere, so people can shop around, even if only one local company has someone's dream car in stock.
3. Shop at the Right Time
Most people buying cars will go at the same time — after work, on the weekends or their days off. As such, they will find a higher demand and less flexible prices because of it. Someone seriously searching for a new car should go during the off hours. The best time of all is during the workday when salespeople will be less busy and perhaps more prepared to cut a deal. To that end, buyers should keep an eye out for end-of-year or end-of-season sales, in which companies slash prices on old models before the new ones arrive. Someone could get an even better price on a car with little negotiation required.
Salespeople have quotas to reach, so they might be looking to close a few extra sales at month's end. It's best to negotiate at this time, when they're more willing to work with a proposed price.
4. Have Financing Outlined
As previously mentioned, the thought of losing business is enough to incentivize any car dealership. The company reaps a great reward from having buyers finance with them — they handle monthly payments and collect the interest. They might not provide many financing choices, so people should make sure they have a second option.
A bank or lender can approve buyers in advance for a similar financing plan that can be used as leverage to get a better interest rate or down payment. It's important to understand all the terms of either payment option before signing. No matter how good a negotiation seems on its face, there could be a hidden high price that'll break the bank down the line.
5. Remember: It's Not Just Price
Finally, a rookie mistake in negotiating is thinking the price will be the bottom line. As it turns out, a salesperson's pitch only begins with the car's price. After that is the finance office, where they'll try and pad out a deal with extras such as an extended warranty or a theft-protection package. It's best to avoid thesebecause they can be bought elsewhere — or the events these extra packages cover are so rare it's unlikely any additional coverage is needed. If the car comes with such features without consent, they should not be paid for.
Get the Car, Save Money
Smart negotiations will prove to the salesperson that someone knows what they're doing. With that, buyers can respectfully get the price they want, and that's a great ending for everyone involved.