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Car buying can be stressful, and negotiating is one of the most essential parts of the process. If you have the right strategies, a dealer may drop the price or reduce some transaction fees.
Your negotiations should start weeks before you step foot in the dealership. This means that you should do your research and be prepared.
Do Your Research
If you enter a car dealership without prior research, the salesperson may use tactics to lengthen and stress the process. You can avoid this by researching online before you go to the dealership. These provide pricing information based on location, year, make, and model.
Doing this will give you an accurate idea of what a particular vehicle costs and allow you to negotiate. It will also allow you to know how much you can afford, especially if the dealer is trying to sell you on financing or leasing. It will be easier to say “no” if you have a firm budget.
Know What You Want
One of the most important aspects of car buying at Turner Kia is determining precisely what you want to buy. Visiting several dealerships in person and online over a few weeks is a good idea. This will allow you to get a feel for what vehicles are available and will provide you with the pricing information you need to negotiate.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want, consider negotiating other things, such as warranty extensions, fabric protection packages, VIN etching, and tire/wheel warranties. Dealerships are likelier to give you a break on these items if they know you are serious about buying their vehicle. Having firm price expectations and the confidence to advocate for yourself will also help level the playing field.
Before heading to a dealership, inform yourself about the car you want. Online resources can provide price information based on year, make, model, condition, and other factors.
When dealers quote you a price, ask them for the “out-the-door” price, including all fees and extras, such as a vehicle service contract or dealer-installed accessories. This will help you determine your baseline for negotiating.
Having a clear idea of what you’re willing to pay for your dream car will inform the dealership that you have options and can walk away from the deal without getting into trouble. This can push them to offer you a better deal.
Having more flexibility can be your most significant advantage in auto dealership negotiations. If you are inflexible about the make and model of the vehicle you want, your negotiating leverage will be limited.
Research the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (sticker price) and dealer invoice price for your preferred vehicle using online pricing guides. Deduct the holdback price that dealers are entitled to, and you’ll find out the dealer’s “fair market” price.
When a salesperson quotes the dealer price, demonstrate that you’re an informed buyer by quoting your figure from your research. The dealer may respond that your calculation is incorrect, but you can present a lower price quote from another dealer to put them on the defensive.
The car dealer will try to distract you from focusing on the price by discussing monthly payments, trade-in value, and financing.
Instead, politely request the total price of the vehicle they’re offering, including all fees and taxes. Ask for your desired price, and walk away if they can’t meet it.
If they persist, get a price quote from another dealer on the exact vehicle and present it to them. Playing dealers off against each other is an effective negotiating strategy, saving you time and gas money. It also shows them that you’re a serious buyer. They may not be willing to go as low as you want, but they’ll likely offer something in return that makes it worth your while.