The Do’s and Don’ts of negotiating when buying a car
Buying a vehicle is a major financial investment, so many buyers like to engage in a bit of haggling. While a car's listed price is generally the price that a dealer expects the customer to pay for the vehicle, there can occasionally be a little wiggle room under the right circumstances.
This isn't to say that you're going to knock off thousands of dollars from the vehicle's price tag. But if you have a good baseline figure in mind and know which extras you need or don't want, then you can find the right deal. Here are a few general rules of thumb when it comes to negotiating a car purchase:
Do keep your expectations realistic
One major thing to keep in mind when buying a car is that the vehicle represents a long-term investment. Cars are expensive – even the "minimum" price for a given vehicle will be somewhat steep. Keeping your expectations realistic about the actual cost will help keep your counter-offers within range of being accepted.
This is especially true with an already-discounted price tag. Once the car's price has already been lowered via a deal or promotion, there won't be much left to cut off the price.
Don't try lowballing
Trying to lowball the seller on the price of the car may make the dealer assume you're either not serious about actually buying it or you're being disingenuous. Instead, try starting from a more reasonable position. This shows that you're making a good faith attempt to negotiate.
Do keep the interaction professional
Being polite and friendly can go a long way during a negotiation. Being rude or unreasonable will only serve to limit the scope of the negotiations and might even shut the process down entirely. Sometimes it's simply good manners that ultimately lead to a good deal.
Don't be afraid to leave
If you're not getting the right deal at the right price, you have the right to walk away at any time. Don't ever feel forced into an agreement you're not comfortable entering.
Do leave your contact information
If you do decide to walk away from negotiations, consider leaving behind your contact information. Even if you're not getting the deal you want right off the bat, there's still a possibility that the negotiations can continue a few days later.