Used Car Deals

Used Car Advice for Lowering the Sticker Price


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Negotiating is a great tool for lowering the sticker price of a used car and advice about the best strategy for this starts with understanding what factors influence the car’s price in the first place. Sticker price is the starting point in any used car negotiation. It is what the dealer wants to sell the vehicle for, however; it is often possible to save hundreds, maybe even thousands off the sticker price by arming yourself with research, being willing to haggle and ultimately being willing to walk away.

Buyer’s Market

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and with overall car sales down many dealers have an over abundance of cars on their lots. Car dealers often make more money on their used cars and therefore will try to sell them at a premium. Knowing the wholesale and retail value of used cars in your area will help you negotiate a better deal. There are ample online resources that allow you to enter the year, make, model, options and condition of a car to obtain a fair market value in your area. Dealers with ample cars on their lots should be more willing to negotiate a better deal. Certified or cars with a warranty will tend to retail for more but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a great deal.

Trade In

Trading in your current vehicle is one way of saving money off the sticker price but it may be best to hold off that discussion until after you have negotiated a final price for the vehicle you want to purchase. Keep in mind, you will get more for your trade in if the vehicle is mechanically sound and doesn’t require a lot of reconditioning. Making sure your trade in is clean inside and out and doesn’t require any major mechanical work will yield you the highest possible trade in price. Research the trade in and retail values of your car and use this as a negotiating tool. Knowledge is power.

Tips for Lowering Sticker Price

  • Thoroughly research wholesale and retail prices of the makes and models that interest you beforehand.
  • Know what your trade in is worth. Come prepared.
  • Do not be afraid to lowball it; start out offering less than you’re actually willing to pay.
  • Ask what the discount is for buying the vehicle today. Get it in writing.
  • Check the car over; are there any scratches or dings, is it a trendy color, if so, ask for a bigger discount.
  • Does the car have more or less options than you want, offer less.
  • If the car has been discontinued or redesigned the car should cost less.
  • Ask to speak to the Sales Manager if the salesperson is unwilling to negotiate price.

You Are in Control

Ultimately the ball is in your court when it comes to buying a car. Dealers are eager to move their inventory but at the highest price possible. It is in your best interest to do as much research as possible on the cars that interest you and to come armed with that information when car shopping. Do not be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right or if the dealer is unwilling to play ball. Make sure the car has not been salvaged and ask for a car history report.  Find out if the car has any sort of warranty; most newer used cars will have the remainder of the manufacturers warranty and possibly an additional dealer warranty. Remember sticker price is just a dealer’s starting point and isn’t written in stone.

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