Research shows that more Brits than ever before are buying cars on finance. Unfortunately, evidence would also suggest that the vast majority are making the same big mistake.
If you’ve ever picked up a new or used car without negotiating, you’ve probably paid over the odds.
Buying a car can be stressful at the best of times. Particularly when combined with the process of seeking a decent car finance package, the whole thing has a tendency to become a chore. This is why many (too many, in fact) simply pay the asking price indicated on the vehicle and think nothing more about it. Do not let a poor credit score get in the way as many customers needing car finance with bad credit get the deal they can afford due to the many options available.
In doing so, they end up out of pocket – knowingly or otherwise.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need advanced negotiation skills to get a better deal on your next car. Instead, you simply need to familiarise yourself with a few tips, tricks and guidelines from the experts.
The most effective of which being as follows:
1. Always plan ahead
First and foremost, you can’t expect to look like you know what you’re talking about if you don’t. Likewise, you can’t pretend you’ve seen your chosen vehicle for £2,000 cheaper elsewhere if this simply isn’t the case. However, if you do your homework and see what kinds of deals are available across the UK, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate a favourable price. If there’s genuinely a better deal elsewhere, they’ll probably do whatever they can to beat it.
2. Establish your budget
You should always walk into a dealership with a fixed upper-limit, regarding how much you are willing (or able) to spend. If you fail to successfully negotiate a price within your budget, you need to know when to walk away. Stick to your guns and don’t fall into the trap of spending more than you wanted to.
3. Beware the time-limited offer
When a dealer tells you the deal on the table is a one-time-only offer, they’re talking nonsense. Likewise, if they say the deal is valid for today only, feel free to shrug and walk away. There’s really no such thing in either case – it’s all a ploy to rush you into making a decision. Take your time and don’t agree to any offer until you are good and ready.
4. Play nice
The more amicable the relationship you establish with the salesperson, the more likely they are to cut you a good deal. At the opposite end of the scale, attempting to play hardball and coming across as arrogant or condescending never works. They’ll be more likely to do you a favour if they like you, so be sure to play nice at all times.
5. Bring an expert along
If you have no idea how to evaluate the potential value of a vehicle by way of inspection alone, bring along someone who does. Again, it’s simply a case of demonstrating that you (or the other person with you) know what you are talking about, and can therefore negotiate with confidence. Even the slightest imperfection in the vehicle – cosmetic or otherwise – could represent an invaluable bargaining chip.
6. Be patient
Last but not least, you have to expect that some dealers will simply not budge. You can negotiate until the cows come home, but they won’t knock a penny off the price. This is where patience pays off, which could mean trying again at a later date or taking your business elsewhere. Attempting to rush things or coming across as desperate means playing directly into the hands of the dealer.