How to haggle when buying a car

We know buying a car is exciting. There’s that new car smell and the tingles you get when you first drive out of the dealer. But there’s one thing that seems to frighten and intimidate most people – haggling *cringes*.

Trying your hand at negotiating a better price is no easy task, whether you’re buying through a private sale or at a dealership. So we’ve put together some pointers to get you started and feeling more confident when you’re found face-to-face with the car salesperson.

1. Be nice

What? Do you really need to be nice when they’re not even trying to budge on the price? Yes. As much as you might want to drop the manners if you’re not getting anywhere with haggling the price down, it does pay to be polite.

If you were to put yourself in the shoes of the salesperson or seller, you would be more likely to want to come to a deal if your customer was being nice to you.

2. Don’t negotiate

What’s the point of haggling if you’re not going to negotiate? What we mean by this, is that you have every right to tell them that you won’t sign on the dotted line until you see the price you want. Simply saying ‘no’ to the price they want you to pay is still a form of haggling.

Remember to be nice, but decline the offer unless they match the price you want to pay – provided that what you’re asking for is realistic.

3. Walk away

First we’re saying to not negotiate and now we’re saying to walk away… what? We mean that is, if the make and model of that car you’re looking for is fairly common, you should have a few opportunities to go to different dealerships or private sellers and ask for the price you want.

If they’re refusing to budge on price and you know there are other cars out there for you, see if you can get the price you want to pay elsewhere.

4. It’s not always about price

There’s more to haggling than just the price. Sometimes, you can even haggle to have the salesperson throw in add-ons at a lower or no cost.

Giving them the hope of the sale, but asking for that bit more before you commit to the sale, can help push them to want to add products and extras to secure the deal.

5. Choose your timing

If you have visited the dealer earlier in the month, give them a call or visit closer to the end of the month. They’re likely to want to try and meet (or beat) their monthly sales targets, and may be more open to negotiation.

6. Enforce a time limit

Take control. You’re their customer and you’re doing them the favour of buying from them. Rather than waiting for them to give you a better deal and telling you that it’s an ‘offer I can only make today’, flip it on them to act.

If what you’re asking for is realistic, tell them if they meet your price (or include add-ons for free), you will give them the deposit and shake on the deal today.

If you’re in the market for a new car, be sure to organise your finance before shopping. Your local Mortgage Choice expert can search a variety of loans from our wide range of lenders to ensure you find a loan that suits you.

If you want to skip the haggling altogether, check out how our door-to-door new car buying service can help you.

Car buying, made easier

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving in your new car. And it feels even better when you know you’ve secured a competitive price. But unless you have the time to visit a wide range of car dealers, there’s never been a way of knowing if you could have found a better deal. Until now that is.

Watch this video to find out about our car buying service for new cars.

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