How To Negotiate With A Car Dealer: Knowledge, Confidence Are Key

Car dealers know how to negotiate; this, after all, is what they do for a living. However, if you make sufficient preparations and approach the negotiation with the right mindset, you could get your new car at just the right price. Knowledge and confidence are keys to your success. 

Do Your Research

The car dealers hold most of the cards before you even walk into the lot. They know how much the dealership paid for the car, the lowest amount of money they'll take for it, and even how much they'll be able to get from selling your trade-in. Because of this, you should do your own research before you head to the dealership to understand more about pricing too. 

You should know the type of car you're looking for and the ideal price you should pay for it. Resources such as the auto issue of consumer reports and the official used car guide can help you to figure this out. You should also know the value of the car you're trading in so you can get as much for it as possible. When you have the right information, it's much easier for you to figure out the best deal.

Especially with used, pre owned cars, you have a lot of data about the vehicle. You have a lot of aggregated reviews and pricing information for that model. You can probably get the car's service history report, if you ask. Always ask for as much information as you can get before starting the negotiation. 

Familiarize Yourself with Negotiating Tactics

Car dealers have years of experience negotiating with a wide range of clients. Take time to understand the process they're likely to use during the negotiation and know how you'll counteroffer. Dealers are used to the back and forth of finding a price that is agreeable to both parties. 

Negotiate with Confidence

In the end, how you negotiate is what will determine the end result. When you approach your auto dealer with confidence and show that you already know a thing or two about the value of the car, it becomes easier to get to a favorable price for everyone. Don't start negotiating at the price you'd like to buy the car; start at least 15% lower. This makes it easier for you and the dealer to converge at your ideal price. You should have a set price ceiling as well, which is the place where you're end your negotiation.