The art of the deal: negotiating tips

Worried you’re not getting the best price? Check out our top tips for negotiating a car deal

Written by Verity Hogan
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What you need to know about negotiating a car deal

For many of us, buying a car will be the second most expensive investment we make in our lifetimes, after buying a house. That’s why it’s important to do your research, take your time, and take steps to increase your chances of getting a good deal.

Here are our top tips for negotiating a car deal:

Do your homework

Want to know a secret? You don’t need any special skills for negotiation. Knowledge is power. The first thing you should know is the official recommended price of the car. Check ad listings of similar makes and models and find out the purchase price if bought new. When you know the market value, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate a lower price!   

Make sure you know exactly what you need

Understanding exactly what you need from your new car will stop you getting lured into buying a model that doesn’t meet your requirements or has features that you’ll pay extra for but never use.

Research the dealer and the car

When you choose a car from one of our trusted dealers, you can be assured that we’ve carried out checks to help minimise any issues but you should do your research on any dealership you’re considering buying from. You can also conduct a quick background check on the car’s number plate to be sure there’s no outstanding finance on it and it hasn’t been stolen. If something doesn’t add up, don’t do the deal.

How to negotiate a lower price

Once you’ve got a quote for the car, you can try haggling to see if you can get a better deal. Bear in mind that this can be tricky, and the dealership may have already offered their best price.

Remember that patience is a virtue. The best approach is to make a reasonable offer that’s still less than you expect to pay. This means you’re unlikely to insult the salesperson or make them think you’re not serious but also could mean you walk away with a discount. Take any phrases like ‘I can’t go any lower than that’ with a pinch of salt as it may be a negotiating tactic.

Other negotiation techniques for buying a car:

Ask for optional extras

Asking for extras like a warranty or mats could work out cheaper than buying these optional extras separately. Some dealers will be prepared to offer significant discounts on these items to close the deal.

Take a time out

If you don’t think you’re getting the best deal, say you’ll sleep on it. Showing that you’re interested but not quite ready to commit might persuade the dealer to offer you a reduced price. However, there’s always the chance that someone else might swoop in and buy the car so bear that in mind.  

Walk away

If you’re not happy with the price offered, be prepared to walk away and look elsewhere.



Verity Hogan

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