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What’s the best way to negotiate?

Doing plenty of research in advance will put you in a much stronger position when you come face-to-face with a dealer

Words by: First published: 25th May 2015
When you’re negotiating over the price of a car, research is crucial. So, make sure you know not only which car you want to buy – and in what specification – but also how much it should cost. That means not just the official list price, but how much discount you can get.

To find that out, look online at classified-sales websites, such as Auto Trader, as well as the sites of brokers such as Carfile or Drive the Deal, who publish discounted prices. Also, don’t forget to look on the manufacturer’s own websites, as they almost all have ‘Offers’ sections; and, be prepared to call other nearby dealers from the same brand to see how much discount they’re willing to offer. There’s nothing to say you can’t play one dealer off against another.

The most important thing is to stick to your guns once you know what you want: don’t be tempted into a cheaper or less well specified model that the dealer is desperate to shift.

Also, don’t forget to do the same with your part-exchange, if you have one. After all, there’s no point saving loads on the new car if you’re short-changed on the price of the car you’re selling. As you did with the new car, research: use our free valuation tool and scan the classifieds to see how much your used car is worth, and don’t be frightened to call around other dealers to see how much they’ll offer you.

Last, but not least, if you’re not getting the deal you want, simply get up and walk away.
  • TOP TIP – Remember the three Rs: research, research and more research
Related topics:
Buying a used car