3 Tips for Negotiating with Used Cars Dealers

March 18, 2013

When trying to obtain the best price for a car while purchasing from used cars dealers, a few tips about how to negotiate will help to gain a better deal. A large number of the buying public is choosing to purchase used cars instead of new ones. The biggest advantage an used car has over a new one is price. Most new cars can lose as much as 50% of their value in the first year of ownership alone. When this is coupled to a low down payment and a long term loan, it leaves a lot of people upside down when it is time to trade. One way to avoid this problem is to purchase an used car instead of a new one, but buying an used car is a very different experience than buying a new one. There are many different factors that can affect the price of a used car, so here are three tips for negotiating a good deal from an used car dealership.

Be Prepared

One of the worst mistakes people make when shopping for a car is buying on impulse. One of the ways to avoid this is to use the Internet to their advantage. The best way to get started is to search for local used cars by using websites such as CarsDirect. Another way to prepare is to visit the local car lots after hours. This allows a person to get a feel for what is available without the hassle of talking to a salesperson. Once the type of car needed has been determined, it is time to figure out what it is worth. When pricing a car, there are two different prices one needs to know; retail and wholesale. The retail price is the expected price a dealer is going to charge. The wholesale or trade-in price, is the price the dealer more than likely paid for the car in question. It is necessary to know both of these values, because you want to negotiate a fair price that is in-between them.


Stand Your Ground

Another common mistake people make when purchasing a car is compromising too much. One of the ways this happens is focusing on monthly payments instead of purchase price. Never tell the dealer what your current payments are, or what you think you can afford. The financing should be discussed after the final price has been set. Before you set foot in the dealership, know what the car is worth, and what you want to pay. Then when it is time to discuss price, don’t back down. Once the salesperson gets you to agree to one thing, no matter how small it is, they know they can get you to agree to more. The key is to stand firm and not let this happen. Remember you are the one paying them, therefore you are in charge. This prepares you for the last tip.


Be Prepared to Walk Away

Nothing conveys to a salesperson how serious you are, like getting in your car and driving away. Know what your spending limits are before you get there, and if a deal isn’t reached, go somewhere else. This infers to the salesperson that you are serious, and if they want your money, they have to match your terms. Leave a way for them to contact you and wait couple of days for them to call. If they don’t, then purchase from another dealer. Do not let the salesperson talk you into a deal you can’t afford.


Purchasing an used car should not be an intimidating experience. By using these 3 tips, one should be able to negotiate a good deal from any used car dealer in their area.

Comments