7 of the Best Tips for Negotiating a Great Price on a New Car


When it comes to buying a new car at a dealership, it helps to go into the negotiation prepared. Arm yourself with enough information to successfully go toe-to-toe with any salesperson. While this might seem like a tall order, preparation helps level the playing field at the negotiation table.

Negotiating a Great Price on a New Car
Negotiating a Great Price on a New Car

In order to get the best possible deal, consider the following seven tips for confidently and competently negotiating new car prices at dealerships.

Train in Sales Techniques

The best way to be on the same level as a salesperson is to learn the same techniques as them. Reading up on or undertaking the best sales training can help you know what to expect from a car salesperson. When you know how you might be positioned as a buyer, you are better able to prepare for, deflect, and use to your advantage dealers’ sales techniques.

Know the Costs

You need to know what the car you’re interested in real costs, and that doesn’t necessarily mean what the sticker price says. Manufacturers give dealers an invoice for vehicles, and this is the figure you need to get a hold of to see how much markup is being applied.

Finding out this information can take some research. However, once you find out, you’ll have the advantage of knowing when the salesperson’s price isn’t reasonable.

Ask the Salesperson for Their Best Offer

When you find the car you want, be sure to ask the salesperson for their best offer. If the dealer asks you what you are looking to pay first, it’s ideal to defer to the salesperson and ask for their best price. The dealers offer might be lower than what you originally had in mind.

Check Your Emotions at the Door

One of the worst things you can do is to get giddy at the sight of your dream car. Even if you’ve done the research and know exactly what car you want, you should train yourself to be as emotionally detached as possible.

Keeping your emotions separate from the situation gives you leverage during the negotiations because it prevents the salesperson from using your emotions against you.

Be Prepared to Walk

If you’re ready for good-faith negotiations but the salesperson doesn’t have that same commitment, be prepared to walk out of the dealership and away from the deal. If you do leave, inform the uncooperative salesperson that you’re going to check out other dealerships and might return in a few days.

A good salesperson, in order to land a deal, will likely take you more seriously if they know you’re willing to walk.

Tips for Negotiating
Tips for Negotiating

Think Twice About Trade-In Incentives

While it’s convenient to trade in your old car, you need to consider the valuation the dealership is giving you. Dealerships affiliated with a specific automaker generally offer less for your trade-in if your car is made by a rival company.

For example, if you want to trade in a used Toyota Corolla, take it to the Toyota dealership. If the valuation for your trade-in car is too low, consider selling it privately or to a dealership that specializes in that make of car.

Know What You Want

Do you need a car? A truck? A minivan? An SUV? A crossover? Your research should not only include finding out what vehicles cost but also determining what you need in a vehicle.

Often, nothing exudes more confidence than a buyer who knows what they want. When you combine strong, educated opinions with the knowledge of how much vehicles are truly worth, you’re more likely to be prepared to negotiate with realistic expectations.

While buying a new car is often an exciting experience, the process can also be stressful, particularly if you don’t do your homework beforehand. However, the better prepared you are for negotiating, the more likely you are to get a great price on the vehicle you want.

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