How To Negotiate the Price of a Used Car

How To Negotiate the Price of a Used Car

Buying a used vehicle is a great way to save money while still getting a really nice vehicle. Many car lots have dedicated areas just for certified used vehicles. Buyers can also seek out used vehicles being sold by private owners. In this post we will show you how to negotiate the price of a used car.

Finding the best deal on a used vehicle does not have to be a challenge. If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to secure a great deal on any vehicle.

10 Steps To Securing The Best Price For A Used Vehicle

1. Determine What You Want to Spend

The first thing you want to do before you start looking for a used vehicle is determine what you want to spend. By setting a budget in advance, you will have more willpower to negotiate and stay within your budget.

2. Research Prices for Cars You are Interested in Purchasing

Car prices can fluctuate based on the area where they are purchased. Make sure that you shop around different car lots throughout your extended area to see the range of pricing offered online for the vehicles you are interested in. This will give you a baseline knowledge on what to expect to pay and how much you should be able to negotiate.

3. Research the Value of Your Trade-In

You should conduct research about the trade-in value of your vehicle before you go to the dealership. If you are selling your vehicle on your own, you will also need to know what a fair value is for the car. Why is this so important? You want to be able to get the most from your vehicle so that it can be applied to your purchase.

4. Get a Financing Offer Before You Go to the Dealership

Even if you do not use this financing in the long run, having that financing in hand gives you an amount you can spend and a guarantee that you can make the purchase. This often encourages salespeople to be a little more dedicated to your purchase.

5. Shop on the Right Days

Avoid shopping at car dealerships on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You will also want to avoid shopping for the first two weeks of the month when possible. On the weekends, there are many people purchasing vehicles and sales reps may not be as motivated to create a great deal because there are so many people there. Likewise, the first two weeks of the month do not have monthly sales quotas looming over the sales reps therefore, they will probably be less likely to negotiate.

How To Negotiate the Price of a Used Car

6. Test Drive, Review History Report, Start Negotiating

Take the test drive to see if the vehicle fits your needs. Next, ask for a copy of its VINsmart report so that you can look over the vehicle history. Once you are satisfied with the car’s history, you can begin talking price and negotiating a deal.

7. Never Play the “Monthly Payment” Game

Never allow the sales rep to start asking you what your target monthly payment is for the vehicle. This distracts you from the overall cost of the car. You have done your research before going to the car lot.  So you already know what the payment will be for that price range. Stick to the basic costs of the vehicle, and you can work out the monthly payments later.

8. Be Ready to Waste Some Time

During the negotiation process, your sales rep will leave you unattended for extended periods. This is a sales trick to make you feel stressed out. They tell you that they are negotiating with their boss, but they are probably on break, filling out paperwork, or just playing solitaire in their office. This time delay makes you feel like you have already invested so much time in the process that you are willing to pay a higher price just to get the sale over with and leave. Enjoy your quiet time and stick to your prices.

9. Avoid Costly Add-Ons

Once you make it to the finance office, be prepared to be slammed with many add-on costs to your car purchase. They will offer gap insurance, extended warranties, warranties for your car interior or paint, service packages, and more. Your best bet is to decline everything and proceed with finalizing the sale.

If you are interested in any of these options, wait until you leave the dealership. They are all available from different insurance providers at a fraction of the cost.

10. Review All Documents Before Signing

Before signing, make sure that you review all of the documents and understand what you are being charged. Look at the final price, the monthly payments, the interest rates, and the value they gave you for your trade-in. If you are satisfied, sign the documents and drive home in your new vehicle.

When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to run a VINsmart report on any used vehicle before making a purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, involved in a major accident, or listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a registration history and mileage at registration.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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