So you’re car shopping for a new or used vehicle and not sure about how to approach the negotiation process. Sometimes it is difficult to ask for discounts as some don’t know or simply are too embarrassed to do so. If you want to make sure you get the best deal and save as much money as possible, here are a few lesser known tactics to help you do just that.
Before heading out to the dealers in your area, take the time to get your credit scores from all three major reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Make sure to get all three.
Also, check the Internet and find the dealer cost (invoice price) of any car you might be interested in – especially if shopping for a new car or truck. Print out the information and take it with you to the dealership. Make sure they know you have the information with you.
One way to turn the tide of negotiations in your favor is to inform the dealership you are not willing to spend hours negotiating, or waiting for them to offer you a good deal.
Many times, a common tactic of car dealers is to wear you down or make you tired, so that you will surrender and pay their asking price (or close to it). Do not give them the opportunity to do this. Tell them your time is limited and you have other dealerships to visit – unless they are willing to make a good deal.
Never pass up the opportunity to test drive a vehicle. Also, don’t just ride around the block or turn on the radio and air conditioner. Give the vehicle a thorough testing. The salesman will probably ask you for your driver’s license so that you can test drive the vehicle. When he does, be prepared by handing him a photocopy instead. It is another common technique for the dealer to hold on to your driver’s license as long as possible to keep you from leaving the dealership.
Also, make sure that you write the statement, “I do not authorize a credit check”. This will prevent the dealer from the checking your credit score while you’re out on a test drive.
Always remember that the last thing the dealership wants is for you to leave the dealership without having purchased a car. You can use this fact to your advantage in all stages of the negotiation. Be prepared to leave when the dealer is not being reasonable or at least offering you a fair price. The longer you allow them to keep you there, the more likely you will end up paying too much for a vehicle. Give them your phone number and tell them to call when they want to be reasonable and offer you a decent deal on the vehicle.