For most of us, buying and owning a car involves a lot of decision-making. This is true irrespective of whether you're buying a brand new car or dealing with a used one. In the latter case, the level of decision-making gets complex, and there's very less margin for error.
While dealing with used cars, you need to know how to negotiate car price, as this is not an option while going for a new car from a showroom.
Negotiating the Price of Used Cars
Do Some Research
As always, before you go for a purchase, it should be preceded by a research. More so, if what you're purchasing is a machine. When asked to do a research, you're not meant to be doing any technical study. It is more of a performance based research that is advised.
You can start by deciding the purpose of the vehicle you're planning to buy: to and fro routine commuting, weekend or evening outings only, towing a trailer or carrying things, for hiring or as a cab, driving predominantly in the suburbs or country, etc. Reliability, safety features, and fuel efficiency are some factors you need to keep in mind.
So, before you approach a dealer, you must be ready with your desired prerequisites. The best way is to start interacting with a number of dealers to do the negotiation online or through a phone, and investigate about the models and their pricing, etc.
Many used car dealerships offer a free price quotation, comparing a few of which can give you a fair idea about where the dealerships stand.
Check the Deal
Once you are sure which dealership is making the best offer along with an easy buying process, you can walk-in there and negotiate the prices to your budget.
Remember to never offer or reveal the exact amount of money that you plan to shell out to the dealer. Instead, you can quote a slightly lower price than whatever your budget is. Also, be careful that the quoted price is not too low, or the dealer may just loose interest and may not see you as a potential customer.
Now here, if the dealer quotes an surprisingly low price, then it's likely that there is something fishy about it. Here's where your earlier conducted research helps you. The price may be quoted low for only two reasons: the dealer is in some kind of a hurry to sell it, or there may be some flaws in the product.
Rules to Negotiate
Next you must know some tips on how to negotiate used car price while dealing face-to-face with the used car sales executive on his desk. Here, you must remember these basic rules - never exhibit anxiousness or desperation. Remain casual and calm, and willing to stage a walk away from the negotiating table at any point.
Now, as the conversation starts, firstly, he will fire a volley of basic questions at you, mostly personal, which should be answered honestly but with a firm attitude. Attitude does not imply acting too business-like or serious, but at the same time you must never draw a blank that this is pure business.
It is always helpful to keep the negotiations as non-formal and friendly as possible, a pinch of sense of humor may also help. Another golden rule is, to doubling back on your offer. Remember, never to raise your earlier bid until the salesman make his offering. Backing off on your own bid will give wrong signals, and will highlight you as a weak negotiator.
Insist on taking a test drive, head out on the city streets, and if possible, on to the freeways. Make sure to check for steering ease, the minimum turning radius, brake reaction and acceleration. Do some business talk or casual negotiation, while you're on the driving seat.
Start by commenting on what you like or dislike about the car, and ask instant queries that creep up while you're testing the car. Some used car dealerships also provide car servicing and overhauling facility, which can be a topic to discuss while on the drive.
The intent of doing a on-the-drive talk should be to make the seller comfortable, and you taking control of the negotiations from here on.
Now, after your ride is over, you can do some thinking and provide the salesman with your final offer for the deal. This may not be done immediately, but you can take a couple of days to come to a conclusion.
Most probably, the salesman will declare that the offer is too low, and he will do everything in his capacity to make you to raise your bid. He may even give you with a counteroffer and provide you with his 'final offer'.
It is of course not advisable to be stubborn, or else there can be no negotiation. You can show your reluctance to change your bid, but in the end, both parties need to settle for a middle path.
Take your time in understanding all the terms and conditions, and the legalities associated with the deal. Ask the dealership to provide you with a package like used car warranty or a year of free servicing or discount on spare car parts purchased in some stipulated time period.
While negotiating, always use and trust your intuition whatever happens. If things get out of control or if you feel insulted or uncomfortable, then don't hesitate to get up and leave. So, relax, take it easy, and go with an aim of having fun and everything will seem to fall in place.