There are some great things about the experience of buying a new car, or a new used car. If you're trading in a car that's on its last legs, it can be a fun feeling to drive out of the dealership in a new, smooth ride. But the not-so-fun part of the whole experience is settling on a price that fair to you and the dealer. There are few sales experiences that are higher pressure than the sales experience you'll have at a car dealership. You can end up feeling overwhelmed, and you may even wind up with a car or payment plan that you don't really want. Take a look at a few tips for wading safely through car purchase negotiations.
Lowering The Payment Doesn't Lower The Price
When the price of the car that you want is too steep, you and the salesperson should be talking about how low the price of the car can go – not how low your monthly payments can go. Usually, car dealerships have a wide range of payment plans, so they can lower your monthly payment by extending the amount of time you're paying on the car. This does nothing to lower the overall price of the car, but it can be easy to lose sight of that in a high-pressure sales situation.
If your salesperson is talking about monthly payment plans, redirect the conversation back to the actual cost of the car. Tell them you don't want to talk about payment plans at all until you've settled on a purchase price for the car.
Don't Be Taken In By "No Haggle" Advertising
Some dealerships claim to take the pressure out of vehicle sales by advertising their prices as "no haggle" pricing. The truth is, any price can be a no haggle price if you're willing to just pay the sticker price for the car, but that's not how you get the best deal. It may be less pressure, but only because no salesperson in their right mind would pressure you to pay less than the asking price.
There's nothing to stop you from making a lower offer than the price on the sticker, even at a no haggle dealership. If you really can't stand the stress and pressure of negotiating a car price, try shopping from home instead. You can do your negotiating via phone and email, on your own time and without a salesperson standing over your shoulder pressuring you to make a deal right away. Then just have the car delivered to your home after the details have been arranged.
You Always Have A Trump Card
Remember that no matter where you are in the negotiation process, you always have one trump card – you can walk out. Don't hesitate to do so if you can see that you're not making any progress. You're not being rude or wasting the dealer's time by not agreeing to a deal if they're not offering a deal that works for you. You are wasting your own time if you continue to haggle when it's clear that you and the salesperson aren't getting any closer to an agreement. Just cut your losses and try the next dealership.
On a related note, you also shouldn't be afraid to take a night to think it over or talk it over with your spouse. No matter what the salesperson says, chances are good that the deal they're offering you today will still be there tomorrow. The only exception is if the dealership is doing a special sale or promotion. If you decide to take advantage of a limited time sale, try to go to the dealership on the first day of the promotion so that you have time to go home and sleep on it if you want to.
Negotiating may not always be fun, but there's nothing like the feeling of driving off in your new car knowing that you got a great car and a great price too. Develop a strategy for dealing with high pressure negotiations, and you can have that feeling the next time you go car shopping. \
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