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How to negotiate the car price?

After shopping around, finding a used car that meets your impeccable standards, inspecting it and finding it has everything you ever hoped for and more, the time will come where you have to get down to brass tacks. I’m talking about the price. The seller of the vehicle may have written a specific number in the ad that appeared on the trade website that you found the vehicle on, but set prices don’t really exist in the used car buying world. So, get the negotiating boots on, because that is the skill that will help you spend less money on the automobile that you desire.


Take note of the car’s worth

In past blog posts I have talked about selling used car to dealer. In this one I will talk about something quite different. Buying used cars from dealers! You will need to do your research on how much this vehicle is normally worth. The knowledge gained will come in handy for when it comes time for you to make offers.

Have the car inspected professionally

Either a mechanic or a good friend who is also a mechanic. If you are a mechanic then use yourself. Doing this may save you a lot of money if it turns out the vehicle has serious repairs that need seeing to. You can use this new info to drive the price down, or at least offer to split the repair costs. Check out the frequently asked questions when buying a used car.


Make an offer

Sellers of used automobiles generally operate via the 20% mark-up rule, because they want to make cash for cars. So you probably won’t be able to get the price of the machine lowered via your amazing haggling skills by that amount. But if you aim to at least try to negotiate the price down by at least 15%, then you have a goal that is reachable.

Used car salesman can smell fear, so put on a nice aftershave. Remember to show plenty of confidence, so the seller doesn’t get any ideas about manipulating you into accepting their higher price of the used car. This can be done with a strong handshake and maintained eye contact. They will try their hardest to keep the price as high as possible. Just stick to your guns, and don’t feel bad about doing your duties as a good western capitalist.

Be wary of the slippery compromise slope

Make small compromises as you see fit but be prepared to slam on the breaks, lest you end up with the dealer getting their way and you having to either walk away or pay full price for the vehicle.

Split hairs

Look for any tiny imperfections that you can use as leverage. Reminding the dealer that they will find it more difficult to sell the car because of them can work to your advantage. Then tell the seller that you are prepared to buy the wheels despite those imperfections, if only they can agree to your offer.


If the used car dealer offers five percent of the asking price, ask for ten. Then they might say seven. You can go on like that or just say fine, and leave. Then they may cave and sell the auto with ten percent of the asking price, or watch you leave and say “bye bye”. If this happens, it’s not the end of the world, there are plenty more fish in the sea.


Selling a car in Melbourne, VIC? Give us a call 04 1170 4458 or fill up one of free quote form on the website.

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