If you’re in the market for a car, you probably already know that you’re bound to spend a good amount of money, on top of possibly taking out a loan to assist you with the purchase. However, just because cars are expensive, you shouldn’t have to break the bank for one.
There are ways you can effectively lower the price of your auto purchase. Through some strategy and negotiating techniques, you’ll be able to find a decent car in your price range.
Know the Car’s Value
The first step in negotiating a fair car price is knowing how much the car is actually worth. This can be done by looking up your desired make and model online using Edmunds.com or Kelley Blue Book. Edmunds pointed out that you can even start your negotiation at a lower price point than the true market value of the car. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but there’s no harm in trying.
Set a Budget
Any time you’re making a big purchase like a car, you should know how it will fit into your current budget. Knowing how much you can afford each month will help you determine how big your loan should be and how expensive your car can be.
“Don’t disclose your monthly car budget to the salesperson.”
One way you can determine how much you can afford is to get loan pre-approval. Going to a lender for this won’t require you to sign a loan with them, but it can show you a concrete number you should strive to stay near or under, which is a helpful tool when looking at cars.
Research the Dealership
Part of getting the best price on a car is shopping at the right dealership. Before you head over, read reviews online to see which places give their customers good experiences. Talk to family and friends who have recently bought cars. Find out where they went and what their experience was. If a dealership has a history of overcharging or making the sales process difficult for consumers, you may want to check out other places.
Avoid Tricky Questions
Your dealer will ask you a wide range of questions. Most of them will be information-gathering questions to help the salesperson assist you better. However, there are some questions that could hinder your hunt for a low-priced car.
For example, the salesperson may ask you how big of a monthly payment you are looking for. You should already know the answer to this question, but that doesn’t mean you have to disclose that with the salesperson. Edmunds explained that once the salesperson begins speaking in cost per month as opposed to overall cost, it can get difficult for the consumer to keep track of.
This information can also help the salesperson inflate the price of your purchase. Instead of answering this question, tell the salesperson that you want to concentrate on one item at a time, and will be willing to discuss financing at a later point, Consumer Reports suggested.
Remember that the salesperson is human, and will respond well to kindness. If you come across as argumentative, he or she may not be as willing to work the price down for you. But if you come across as kind, but also confident in your offer and informed of the car’s value, the salesperson is more likely to treat you kindly and respectfully. Stay calm and collected throughout the whole process and you will likely be rewarded in the end.
Buying a car can be fun, but getting an affordable one isn’t always easy. By adopting some negotiating techniques, you should be able to work the price down so you can purchase a nice car that is in your price range.