8 Tips for Negotiating at an Auto Dealership

Auto Dealership

Last updated on March 29th, 2024 at 04:21 pm

It’s estimated that nearly 20% of Americans are in the market for a new car. If you fall into this category, you know how expensive finding the car of your dreams can be. One way to cut down on the costs of buying a car is by negotiating with the auto dealership. However, this can often be intimidating for many car buyers. Often they lack the confidence or knowledge to successfully navigate a predatory sales process. That’s why we made this guide. In it, we’ll discuss negotiating tips from sales talk to financing. That way, you have the best chance to save money when buying a new car.

1. Know What Type of Car You Want

If you don’t know what type of car you want it can be easy to get influenced by a persuasive salesperson. In these cases, you might end up paying more for a car than you intended. Or worse, you’ll end up paying for a car you don’t even really like. Some people instantly know what type of car they want. Others will require a bit of research to find it.

Regardless of what it is, make sure you stick true to your choice and shop at dealerships that offer that model. For example, if you want a Mazda CX-30, shop at a Mazda car dealership. In some cases, you might try your luck at used dealerships. However, these can be a bit sketchy compared to certified dealers.

2. Research the Price

If you don’t know the price of the vehicle you want it’s easy to be taken advantage of by a salesperson. Instead, make sure you know the general price range. Just keep in mind that automobile prices can be influenced by demand. So in some cases, your dealership might try to raise the price for you. In this case, you should either go somewhere else or wait for the demand around the model you want to go down.

3. Know What You Can and Can’t Negotiate

There are some things you can and can’t negotiate at dealerships. That starts with the price. If you go to an independent dealership or seller they’ll likely be open to haggling if you’re interested. However, not all dealerships work like this. Some have a set price for each model that they will not budge on. However, remember that you can also depend on things like the financing, the value of a trade-in (if you’re trading in), and the cost of any add-ons. Just remember when it comes to things like registration fees and taxes you unfortunately cannot negotiate the price.

4. Focus on Price Not Monthly Payments

One common mistake people make when negotiating is focusing on the monthly payments instead of the overall price tag of the vehicle. You indeed want a monthly payment that you can afford. However, if it’s the only thing you’re focusing on you’re not going to get a good deal. Any auto dealer can manipulate variables to get a monthly price where you want it. However, you’ll end up paying more down the line when it comes to the length of your car loan or your interest rates. So have a monthly payment figure in mind, but never disclose it to the salesperson even when they ask. You’ll find that they quickly use this against you.

5. Get Pre-Approved Financing

Many dealerships indeed provide you with financing options. It’s also true that these rates can be favorable in terms of an auto loan. However, if you rely on in-house financing you’re a captive buyer. Instead, explore financing options outside of the dealership. You can always take the offer provided by the dealership. That being said, it helps to have a back-up option if you aren’t happy with the terms or you want to try negotiating.

6. Got to Multiple Dealerships

It’s important to visit multiple sellers when shopping for a car. For one thing, you might find a better deal on the car you want. Depending on their inventory and sales requirements certain dealerships might be willing to give you a better deal. What’s more, many dealerships might offer rewards or buyer programs for certain models. Don’t be afraid to check out other dealerships that are far from you. Call them and explain how far you are. In some cases, they might be willing to ship the vehicle out to you. Or you could go on a road trip to get it.

7. Avoid Extras and Add-Ons

You might think you’re safe after closing the deal on your car purchase. Sadly, you’re not. Most dealerships will sit you down and walk you through a long list of extras and add-ons. Each one of these will cost hundreds or even thousands of additional dollars. Your salesperson will likely try to convince you that your vehicle will be ruined without some of these add-ons. They are almost always exaggerating. Stay strong and refuse all of the extras they suggest unless you think you can benefit from it.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

When you’re under the thumb of an aggressive salesperson, it can sometimes feel like you’re being held captive. However, remember that at any point in the process, you can excuse yourself and walk away. You don’t need to storm out in a blaze. If the dealership isn’t budging on a price or you think they’re trying to take advantage of you, then you can simply leave. Remember that it’s the salesperson’s job to try and work with you to find an equitable arrangement that benefits everyone. And if they’re not willing to do this you can take your business elsewhere.

Appreciate Learning How to Negotiate With an Auto Dealership? Keep Exploring

We hope this guide helped you learn more about negotiating with an auto dealership. It’s important to remember that every car dealer will handle negotiating differently. So don’t be afraid to take your time and shop around a bit. That way, you’re sure that you have the best deal possible. Want more content like this? We have plenty of similar auto advice that you can find by exploring our blog now.

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