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Negotiating your next auto purchase

When you buy a car, your purchase will influence your finances for years to come, so it’s important to get a deal that works for you. A major factor in determining how much you’ll pay each month, obviously, is how much you paid for the car.

There are a few essential things to know about negotiating your car price. You want to make sure you're getting a fair deal on your vehicle of choice. You don't want to simply offer whatever the dealership you buy from is asking. Dealerships frequently advertise car prices significantly higher than what they're willing to accept.

Here are seven tips to help you negotiate the best price on your vehicle.
 

7 Steps to Negotiating a Good Price on Your Next Vehicle

Research Car Values

If you want to be as effective as possible at negotiating, you need to be informed. Research the value of the cars you're interested in. Look up the MSRP of the car models you're considering. You also need to understand the price difference for various trim upgrades and packages. There are many resources online that will publish what people are paying for comparable vehicles and what people are paying in your area.

When you show your familiarity with pricing information, you can leverage the information you have in your negotiations with the dealer. You'll also know right away when a dealer is trying to get more from you than the car is worth. Members of Truliant also enjoy being able to research new and used car prices through the Credit Union Auto Buying Service (CUABS).

Set a Goal

It's a good idea to have a goal in mind for how much you want to spend. After you've done your research, determine an amount you should realistically be able to talk the salesperson down to. Then, don't settle for a price that's any more than your goal price. This way, you know what to shoot for and you know when to settle.

Research Advertised Prices Before Visiting

In addition to researching car values in general, you should also check out advertised prices from the dealerships you visit. This will give you an idea of what the starting point will be in your negotiations. Many dealer websites offer inventory and pricing that you can review from the comfort of your home.

Don't Be Manipulated

It’s very common for buyers to get to a dealership and easily get swayed into extras. Don’t hesitate to say no, or to ask questions, to indicate that you’re not going to cave to every suggestion a dealer makes. Don’t overshare – if possible, you want the dealer to have more questions than you do. A good example is when a dealer will try to nail down your ‘ideal’ monthly payment. Never shop from a monthly payment – negotiate the price of the car with the features you need and, with the prep you’ve done, the monthly payment will align.

Have Your Financing Arranged Ahead of Time

It's best to get pre-approved ahead of time for a car loan. This way, you don't have to put any thought into acquiring the financing you need. You can instead focus entirely on the negotiations at hand.

To assist with giving you additional leverage, Truliant’s Express Check can provide a pre-approved amount you can spend, so you know exactly how much buying power you have.

Be Ready to Walk Out

Walking out shows that you mean business. It shows that you really won't settle for anything other than what you came for. Even if the salesman tells you otherwise, you can always come back and take the dealership up on an offer that was made previously. More often than not, you'll get an even lower price on a car you're interested in if you return later.

Be Patient

It could take time to get the price you want. You shouldn't expect to negotiate the best deal quickly. When you go into the dealership, get ready to spend some time there. This means that you should eat a good meal beforehand and arrive well rested.

Remember that car salesmen have a lot of experience with these negotiations. They know the signs to look out for that show a client is getting impatient and ready to settle. Be persistent and patient. Don't give up until you've gotten the price you want.

Negotiating can be difficult, but with these tips, you'll get a fair price. And please keep in mind that the market dictates a fair price. If a popular small SUV is selling for $24,000 easily, then you’re not going to get it for $18,000. If that’s your budget, a good salesperson will work with you to find something comparable in the price range. If you walk out, they’re going sell it for $24,000 to the next person.

If the idea of negotiating puts you off, there are many no-haggle car dealers out there where you’ll get a fair deal based on market value. While you won’t get the bottom-dollar price, for many people, the hassle-free experience is more than worth it!
 

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