By Lauren Fix, The Car Coach
You’ve figured out what you want to buy—now you want to negotiate the best price!
How to get the best price on a new vehicle will take a few days. Make sure that you have already test-driven what you want so you can get down to the negotiating.
The secret to getting the best price is NOT TO NEGOTIATE. It sounds odd, but it’s actually quite simple. Why? The rule is to get the best price from at least seven different dealers.
I didn’t say negotiate prices because most dealers will offer you deeply discounted prices with zero negotiation as long as they know you’re getting prices from the competition, and you contact the dealer online. You should never discuss pricing while you’re physically at a dealership.
The more dealers you collect prices from, the better your chances of landing the best deal.
The lesson here is: Don’t be discouraged if you get similar pricing from the first few dealers you contact.
Most car shoppers will usually stop after contacting only 3 or 4 dealers—that’s not going good enough. Getting price quotes from at least seven or more dealers across the country will get you the best price.
Do not be afraid to buy out-of-town. Dealers will deliver the vehicle and handle all the paperwork online. Dealers want your sale!
Here are ten other tips that might be worth considering when negotiating to buy a new or used vehicle.
Make sure you are comparing the same model and options when shopping around.
If a dealer gives you a price quote that seems too good to be true, this could be a “demo car.” The dealer is trying to sell you a vehicle used as a demo, and it will likely have been driven hundreds of miles. This is NOT a fair comparison shop, and it’s typically with last year’s model. It may save you some money, though.
Buying at the end of the month will always get you the best prices. Dealers do not want to pay for the financing of the vehicle for another month. After the first of the month, they are not as negotiable.
Once you get the best prices, go back to each dealer and give them a chance to beat the lowest price for the comparable vehicle.
Some dealerships will charge a different amount for document fees or other fees. Document fees can get very expensive, and some don’t charge, but make sure you know what the fees are in advance before picking a dealer.
Offer to give back by posting a complimentary post on their customer surveys, yelp, and other social media streams. You have to give them something else to close the deal.
No matter where you buy your vehicle, you might be able to get something extra for using their shop in the future. Getting your car serviced at the dealership you purchase from brings them extra revenue. Dealers make their profits in service and not that much on the sale.
Remember, though, you can choose any dealer or independent shop you wish. This is another incentive for a salesperson to work with you.
Once you’ve made your deal, get the deal in writing through an email. Then get the paperwork started. Financing or leasing a vehicle can be done through email and DocuSign. Once you have a signed purchase order and secured vehicle insurance, you then can take delivery or have it delivered.
Some people want the peace of mind that comes with extended warranties, so this is something you might want to consider unless the car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty or is a CPO vehicle. Do your research and check out places such as carwarrantyguru.com.
All these negotiation strategies work for both new and used cars.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news, and safety issues.
Lauren is the CEO of Automotive Aspects and the Editor-in-Chief of Car Coach Reports, a global automotive news outlet. She is an automotive contributor to national and local television news shows, including Fox News, Fox Business, CNN International, The Weather Channel, Inside Edition, Local Now News, Community Digital News, and more. Lauren also co-hosts a regular show on ABC.com with Paul Brian called “His Turn – Her Turn” and hosts regular radio segments on USA Radio – DayBreak.
Lauren is honored to be inducted into the Women’s Transportation Hall of Fame and a Board Member of the Buffalo Motorcar Museum and Juror / President for the North American Car, Utility & Truck of the Year Awards.
Check her out on Twitter and Instagram @LaurenFix.