7 Tips For Negotiating With A Car Dealer


Buying a new car can be an exciting experience, but negotiating with a car dealer can also be stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Knowing how to negotiate effectively can help you get the best possible deal on your new vehicle. Follow these 7 tips when negotiating with a car dealer to help ensure you walk away satisfied.

1. Do Your Research On The Vehicle

Before stepping foot in the dealership, make sure you’ve done thorough research on the make and model you want to purchase. Look up the MSRP, average selling price, and inventory availability in your area. You’ll have a better idea of what a fair price should be for the vehicle so you can negotiate from an informed position. Check reviews, common issues, and ownership costs as well.

2. Get Pre-Approved Financing

If you need to finance, obtain pre-approval from your bank or credit union before negotiating. This gives you serious buying power, as you already have financing secured at a competitive interest rate. The dealership finance office wants your business, so they may be able to beat the pre-approved rate. But even if they can’t, you have a backup plan for financing all ready to go.

3. Ask For The Out-The-Door Price

Don’t let the dealer talk monthly payments with you—demand the total out-the-door price, including taxes, fees, etc. This way you understand the complete cost breakdown rather than just the monthly payment. Negotiate the out-the-door price before discussing financing.

4. Make An Offer Below The Asking Price

You’ll have more room to negotiate if you make the opening offer. Start lower than the asking price, but keep your offer reasonable based on your research. If pricing isn’t readily available, use resources like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to determine a fair offer. The dealer won’t take an extremely lowball offer seriously.

5. Mention Competing Dealerships

If the salesperson won’t come down to your target price range, let them know you’re also considering a Hagerstown car dealer for the same vehicle. Dealerships don’t want to lose a sale, so the added competition may convince them to improve the deal. Just ensure you’re willing to actually follow through with visiting the other dealership.

6. Ask About Incentives And Promotions

Manufacturers and dealerships often offer special incentives and promotions that could help lower the price, including rebates, discounted financing, and free add-ons. Don’t rely on the dealer to bring up these incentives—ask specifically what programs or offers may be available so you take full advantage of the savings opportunities.

7. Walk Out If You’re Not Satisfied

If you’ve negotiated fairly but the dealer is not meeting your expectations or needs, be willing to walk out. Let them know you’re ready to go look at other options at competitors. More often than not, the salesperson will ask you to come back to further negotiate rather than lose the sale completely. However, only use this tactic if you’re fully prepared to leave.

Following these above 7 tips when you head to the dealership will set you up for success in your car purchase negotiation. Come prepared with research, financing, and reasonable offers, then negotiate firmly but fairly using competitive pricing and incentives. Pay attention to the out-the-door price, not just the monthly cost. And finally, don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re not satisfied with the deal. Approach your negotiation calmly and strategically, and you’ll likely drive away with an excellent price on your new car.

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