Auto Negotiating Made Easy - 10 Tricks to Get the Best Price

Posted by: Dan on 10/12/2015

Category: General

Buying a new car is both thrilling and a little stressful. You might be looking forward to receiving your new set of keys, but the process of actually getting them can be arduous at times - especially when it comes to negotiating prices.

While it helps to be flexible when negotiating over - for example, if the dealership has the car you want but in a different colour - the adage ‘the customer is always right’ is particularly true in the automobile market, where variety is large and competition is fierce. With the following tips, you’ll be well positioned to negotiate a great deal for your great new vehicle.

Ask for a cash discount

If you’re able to do so, ask dealers if they’ll offer you a discount for paying in cash. Many dealerships welcome the chance to avoid the associated fees and expenses that come with electronic transactions. If you’re able to make a cash payment for a vehicle, it can work to your advantage.

Ask if they’ll price match with other providers

This trick is especially useful when you notice a private seller or two listing the same car for sale. While it’s true the dealership can offer you certain guarantees - such as a warranty and ongoing point of contact if you run into any trouble using the vehicle - it’s also fair for you to ask for a better price if their current rate for the same vehicle is considerably more than what’s being asked for on the private market.

All you have to do is bring in a few newspaper clippings or screenshots on your smartphone showing the price of the car other sellers are advertising. Remember, it never hurts to ask!

See if similar models are available

Just as any business, a car dealership will always seek to showcase and encourage sales of its premier products - and this means highlighting to you all the latest features of a manufacturer's 2015 (or most current) model.

Though there can, of course, be great new enhancements made each year, it’s also true that car models rarely change a great deal year-in-year-out. If you find the price point of the 2015 doesn’t sit within your ideal budget, ask the dealership what other models they have available.

Buy a second hand certified vehicle

Buying a second hand certified car from the dealership will help you acquire a like-new car at a very affordable price. If you feel a little tentative initially about buying a second hand car, remember that there are many businesses and organisations that regularly return new cars to market after a short period of use. As a result, this avenue can offer an excellent chance to get a great car at a price you can afford.

Though any second hand certified vehicle within Australia is, by law, required to come with a warranty, a good dealership will regard the law as the minimum of its service obligation to customers. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to establish the condition of the vehicle or for a report of any maintenance or mechanical work it has required.

Ask what extras the dealership can add in for free

While a seller may say the price is set, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t add things to the purchase. Accordingly, if you have a base price point that you’re unable to move any lower, ask what extras can be included or even list which ones you desire.

While, at times, this may just result in getting a couple of coupons for a free service at your local car wash, more often than not it can mean getting e some factory extras - such as air conditioning, a rear spoiler or roof racks - added for free to the deal, or offered at a heavily discounted rate.

Look to receive a discount for trading in your current car

When one car goes off the lot, a dealership needs to replace it. If you’ve been driving a car in excess of five years old - or if it’s not in good condition - a dealership may show little interest in acquiring it. However, if you have a relatively recent car, and it’s working well, it’s useful to put it forward as an inclusion within the deal for your new car. Amazing bargains have been found this way.

Seek out a ‘loyal customer’ discount

Businesses love regular customers, and this is especially true within the automobile arena. While few individuals are regularly in the business of buying a car year-in-year-out, it’s important to recall your wider network of family and friends when buying a car.

For a dealership, this is especially pertinent. While you may just be thinking about buying a new car for yourself today, if your partner is also thinking of upgrading to a new car, or your teenage children are soon to be driving, then the prospect of your family and friends becoming repeat customers is considerable.

Instead of hinting at this, just be direct. All you need to say is ‘Look, I like this car, but it’s a little outside of my budget. Is there anyway it could be lowered a bit more? I’ve actually got another family member set to buy a car soon. If I could get a good deal here, I’d be sure to sing your praises to them.’

Given that businesses need consider both their current customers and potential future customers, you may find that many are open to such a proposal.

Ask if there’s a discount if you post a picture of your car on Facebook or Twitter

In this day and age of social media, businesses realise the days are gone where they can just post an ad in the newspaper and expect to draw in customers. Accordingly, ask them what discount you could get if you post a nice pic on Facebook of your new car and indicate where you got it.

To keep things from coming across as overt advertising, post a nice photo and a message like ‘Happy to have got my new car from John Smith dealership. They’re nice folks, and I recommend them to anyone!’ can go a long way.

Be nice and just ask ‘what is the best price I can get for this?’

Sad to say, there are a number of customers who aren’t so polite when it comes to buying a new car. Ensure your auto negotiations start off on the right foot by being polite and cordial throughout.

While you have every right to say no and resist the stereotypical car salesmans pressure, remember that many dealerships are upfront, honest and take pride in selling good products in a pressure-free way. Once you’ve found a dealership like this and established a good bond with your seller by being polite, simply be upfront and say ‘I like this car, but I do have a set budget allocated for my new vehicle. What is the best price you can give me?’

Be willing to walk away

Ultimately, if you’re unhappy with the terms of an offer or proposed deal, you can always walk away. While, if you're otherwise pleased with the car, being a little flexible on price is ideal, remember that there are usually hundreds of car dealerships in any big city - and countless cars for sale within them.

With monthly new car sales having fallen up to 2.4% in recent months, it’s an ideal time to be a buyer, with dealerships keen to ensure their quota outperforms the market. Now is the perfect time to get a good deal, and the tips above will help you turn a decent bargain into a stellar discount.

What other tips would you suggest to those who are looking to negotiate the purchase of a new car? Share your recommendations by leaving a comment below:

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