A vehicle is a big-ticket purchase, even if you’re only buying a used car. And any time you prepare to shell out thousands of dollars you want to make sure that you’re getting the best product at the lowest possible price. However, this will require you to engage in negotiations with salesmen, a prospect that many people find daunting. But it’s your job as a consumer to get the best price on every purchase. And in the case of buying a used car, haggling is not only acceptable; it is expected. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to strengthen your position when it comes to negotiating the purchase of a used vehicle.
Here are a few tactics that could give you the advantage.
Know Blue Book value.
It is absolutely imperative that you know the value of a used car before you buy it. So if you don’t know what you’re looking for, bring the latest edition of Kelley Blue Book with you or simply download the mobile app to your Android, Windows, or iPhone handset so that you can check vehicle values on the go. Just remember that used car dealers will add a markup so that they can make money on the deal. You just have to figure out how much they’re willing to come down. And you might want to consider bringing a friend that is familiar with mechanics in order to make sure any vehicle you choose is in the condition advertised.
In order to gain more control in the negotiating process, you might want to get pre-approval for a car loan from your lender of choice. If you amount you’re approved for is more than what you want to spend, simply ask the bank for a smaller amount. You can then forego the credit check and a loan through the dealership and stick to the number you have in mind. If a salesman tries to get you to pay more, simply show him what you’re approved to spend.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “money talks”, and it can speak volumes when you’re negotiating the price of a used car. Plopping cash down on the counter can make a very alluring statement that is hard to resist.
Hide your excitement (or desperation).
If salesmen know they’ve got you over a barrel, or they can sense that you really want a particular car, they’ll do everything they can to keep the price high. And why not? You’ve given them all your bargaining power and they’re out to make a buck. If you simply can’t stop yourself from blurting out whatever you’re thinking or feeling, try to say nothing at all when viewing cars. A poker face can go a long way towards getting a better deal. After all, salesmen want to make a sale. It’s just a matter of how much they’re willing to drop the price to make it happen.
Be willing to walk away.
This is essential in any used car negotiation, whether you’re buying from the Toyota of Beorne lot or your dealing with a private seller. If you can’t get the price you want for the vehicle that interests you, don’t be afraid to keep looking. Sometimes walking away can get the seller to a price you want. And if not, you can move on to another seller.