How do you negotiate a car sale?

One of the rules of friendly bargaining says that once you, as a buyer, mention a price, you can't go any lower. Once they, as sellers, mention a price, they can't. If you walk into the dealership intending to buy a specific model or model, your ability to negotiate a better price may be limited. When dealers know that you have decided on a certain car, they may not feel obligated to negotiate the price because they know that you have made a decision.

Instead, choose the vehicle that best fits your needs and keep your options open for more negotiating power. When you sit down with the seller and present your offer, be firm but courteous. Let them know that you've done your homework and that you have an idea of the car's value. Don't let them try to deflect the conversation; focus on the topic at hand.

A seller may try to distract you by talking about financing, insurance, or extras, such as a maintenance plan; this is a trap you should be prepared to avoid. Beyond the valuable research tools available on the Internet, you can choose to search an online marketplace to buy and sell cars. If they know that you will be paying in cash, the seller may be less willing to negotiate the purchase price of your car. If you're not in a hurry to buy a car, you can get a better deal if you do nothing but choose the right day to visit the dealer.

Minimize this by stating in advance that the new car offer is not final unless you receive a good allowance for your trade-in. For information on the fair market value of a car, visit industry-recognized resources for accurate consumer pricing, such as Kelley Blue Book, NadaGuides and Edmunds. On the other hand, if a seller claims that there is no urgent reason for the sale, other than wanting to get rid of the car, you may find it more difficult to convince them. The Corvette fueled my love for cars, and the Audi led me to automotive journalism, athletic days and car repair for enthusiasts.

In any case, whether you negotiate prices by email, use an intermediary purchasing service, or face to face with a saleswoman and, inevitably, her boss, you'll end up at a dealership to sign the papers and get the keys. How much you can reduce the price ultimately depends on the value of the car, the strength of your financial position, and how long the car has been in the lot. But what you may not know is that few cars are actually sold by the MSRP, which gives you room to negotiate a better price. Whether you're working with your bank or an online lender, getting pre-approved can help you stay within your budget when buying a car.

When you talk to a dealer (by nature, certified cars are sold through dealerships, not private individuals) about a certified car, ask them to show you their inspection report, which will include all the areas reviewed, whether or not the model was recalled, and even details such as the depth of the tire tread and the thickness of the brake pads. Negotiating the price of a used car is a kind of art, and it's important to have confidence when you start negotiating.