How Much Negotiating Room Is There on a Used Car?

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There are endless financial reasons to buy a used car. Compared to new vehicles, they’re less expensive to buy and insure. Plus, you may still be covered under the vehicle’s original warranty at no extra cost. It’s an especially smart decision because new cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot. But even though they’re already priced low, you may still want to strike a deal with the car dealer. How much negotiating room is there on a used car? Take a look.

1. Conduct Enough Research

Before you head to the car dealership, you’ll want to do a little research about the car you wish to purchase. It’s crucial to know the make and model, as well as the average sale price for that vehicle in your area. Be sure to consider specific aspects you want in the car, including mileage and features.

This research gives you an advantage as the buyer. If you come to a salesperson with a lower price than advertised, you may be able to get them to price-match the vehicle. It’s always wise to introduce some competition into the process. Remember that you might not get the car dealer to budge, but you’ll still have information that helps you find a better deal.

2. Get Preapproved for an Auto Loan

Whether or not you plan to finance the vehicle through the dealership, you should consider an auto loan preapproval. This way, you can avoid certain sales tactics that can derail negotiations. Most car dealerships will try to push a payment plan on you. If you negotiate after choosing to finance with them, you won’t get far because the price has been locked in.

It’s better to come to them with everything already in order. This way, you can say you plan to pay with cash, and you simply want to see whether you can lower the car’s cost. Then, you should have some wiggle room as a result.

3. Present an Initial Offer

Now, you can consider the price you want to present to the salesperson. Typically, used cars can still be knocked down a few thousand dollars in price. That’s where the research you conducted previously comes into play. If you don’t have enough knowledge, you’ll likely be at a disadvantage in the negotiation.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the negotiation process.

Make a Strong Case

It can be a bit intimidating to open negotiations with a car dealer, but you’re in a solid position as the buyer. That’s even more true when you have data to support your argument. Be sure to present the number in a polite yet professional manner. Let them know you have information on your side.

Feel free also to point out factors that give you the upper hand. For example, you could mention you’ve seen the car in the lot for a few weeks, so your offer would help them unload inventory. It can be smart to provide an explanation behind your approach.

Be Prepared to Walk Away

If you’re told they won’t offer any discounts, you should be ready to leave the negotiation. Here, you’ll likely encounter two scenarios: the salesperson will either come up with a counteroffer or send you on your way. Then, be ready for some back and forth — or you may have to consider a different car dealership.

Be ready for both outcomes, so you aren’t caught off guard. If you can continue the conversation, you should be prepared with one or two counteroffers. It may not be long before you figure out a price that works.

However, you should also remember not to stay longer than necessary. That’s a fine line you need to consider in negotiations. If you haven’t gotten anywhere, your best bet will be to tell the salesperson you’ve decided to look elsewhere. While they may call in a few days with an offer, you should still look for other options in the meantime.

There may also be some red flags that pop up, which indicate you should back away from the deal.

4. Be Wary of Certain Extras

When you inch closer to an agreement, you should watch out for extras the car dealer might try to sneak into the deal. It can be tricky to determine what certain “perks” are worth — which means you don’t know whether you’ve gotten anywhere in the negotiations. Try to stick with the car’s price itself.

How Much Negotiating Room Is There on a Used Car?

While you can already get a good bargain on a used car, you’ve probably thought, “how much negotiating room is there on a used car?” It’s a valid question, especially when you find that a vehicle isn’t priced correctly. Fortunately, you’ll find that there’s plenty of negotiation room for used cars. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these suggestions to lock down the best deal possible.