How to negotiate your best deal with the salesperson
This process can be stressful if you're not prepared. But those who take the time to research their vehicles and establish a budget are able to negotiate from a position of strength and confidence. And it will save you time and money.
It’s a fact of life in the retail car industry that most consumers don’t enjoy the negotiating process when buying a car.
This process can be stressful if you’re not prepared. But those who take the time to research their vehicles and establish a budget are able to negotiate from a position of strength and confidence. And it will save you time and money.
I’m astonished at the number of people who rush out to buy cars without doing due diligence. These are usually the same folks who express buyers’ remorse because they overpaid or didn’t get the deal they wanted.
The first steps in the negotiating process are to check your credit rating, choose a specific model and work out the financial arrangements.
Once these items have been established, then you’re ready to contact a dealership.
Let’s assume you’ve chosen a dealer that has your model in stock, with all of your desired options. Make an appointment with a salesperson, as opposed to just dropping in unannounced. This shows respect for the salesperson’s time and it delivers a message that you are serious about buying.
When you meet with the salesperson, inform him or her that you will buy if you feel satisfied with all aspects of the deal. Then ask the salesperson for the best price on the car. Never offer an opening price.
Don’t allow the negotiations to be steered toward a monthly payment. A salesperson can structure any financial arrangement to suit a monthly payment, but a low monthly payment could end up costing you more over the long term.
A salesperson might want to talk about financing arrangements or the price of your trade-in before agreeing on a price for your new car. Don’t discuss this â€“ yet. Finalize a sale price on the new car first.
After a sale price has been agreed upon, then you can discuss financing. If you have been pre-approved for financing before you visited the dealership, then there should be nothing to negotiate.
Next, negotiate the value of your trade-in. As part of your due diligence, you will already know the approximate market value of your existing vehicle, taking into account its condition, its maintenance history, number of kilometres, etc.
Don’t expect a dealership to offer the current market value for your trade. That’s because dealers need to recondition trade-ins and make a profit on them. So expect the price of your trade-in to be slightly less than the current market value.
Never let emotions influence your decisions when negotiating. I understand that buyers are anxious to drive away in their new cars, especially after a lengthy negotiating process. But there will be lots of time to drive a new car after the deal is done.
If a salesperson tries to force you to accept a deal that isn’t right for you, politely decline. If he or she continues to pressure you or tries to make you feel guilty for not closing the deal, then walk away from the dealership.
Remember, it’s you who is in the driver’s seat. Don’t be afraid to say “no,” or to walk away at any point in the process. Cars are expensive items and the last thing you want to do is commit to buying the wrong car at the wrong price.
Finally, once the purchasing or leasing agreement has been prepared, take a few moments to review all of the key elements of the deal.
Focus on the sale price, interest rate, length of term and other conditions. If anything doesn’t make sense, ask for clarification.
This column represents the views of TADA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check www.tada.ca.