car dealers in elgin
Negotiating Used Car Price

8 Helpful Tips for Negotiating Used Car Price

If there’s one good reason why any car buyer should consider buying a used car, it would be depreciation. A new car can lose up to 40% of its value in the first year or two. A model that’s a year older, on the other hand, will typically be a lot cheaper and will likely still be under warranty. But similar to buying a brand new car, negotiating the price of a used car can be tricky. And if you’re looking to score a great deal on their next vehicle, keep the following tips in mind when negotiating prices with a dealer.

1. Do your research

Like with any big purchase, knowing what you’re getting yourself into is critical when negotiating a used car price. It would help if you armed yourself with solid information on how used cars typically sell. Be sure to look up the Kelly Blue Book value of the car you’re interested in and have a good idea of what other similar models are selling. So start checking the prices online and do your homework. This will give you a better idea of what kind of offer to make on the car.

2. Determine your budget

It’s essential to know how much you’re willing to spend on a used car before negotiating with a dealer. By having a firm budget in mind, you’ll be less likely to get swayed by an offer above your price range. Keep in mind, though, that your budget should also factor in additional costs such as taxes and fees, as well as the cost of insurance and maintenance.

3. Get pre-approved for financing

If you’re planning to finance your used car purchase, getting pre-approved for a loan is an excellent negotiating tactic. Once you have a loan in place, you can confidently walk into the dealership knowing exactly how much you’re willing to spend. This takes away any pressure the dealer might put on you to make a quick decision.

4. Know the dealer’s bottom line

A dealer’s bottom line is the lowest price they’re willing to accept for the car. You can try to find this out by calling around or researching online. But keep in mind that the bottom line will likely be higher than the Kelly Blue Book value since dealers need to make a profit. Once you know the bottom line, you can start negotiating from there.

5. Be strategic in making the right opening offer

When negotiating a used car price, it is best to let the salesperson make the first offer. Putting your offer on the table first will set the tone for the rest of the negotiation and may not work in your favor. Instead, wait for the salesperson to give you their best offer first, then work from there.

On the other hand, if you decide to prompt the opening offer, you can start by saying “I’ve done some research about how much others are selling this car for and I think a fair starting point would be X.” By countering with a number, you give the salesperson something to work with while also putting your negotiating skills on display.

6. Don’t show your excitement

If you’re too eager or seem overly excited about the car, the dealer may think they have the upper hand in negotiating. So it’s essential to remain calm and collected throughout the negotiation process. A good way to do this is by feigning disinterest in the car and acting like you’re just there to compare prices. This will help keep the dealer from getting too comfortable during negotiations.

7. Be prepared to walk away

Don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel like the dealer isn’t budging on their offer. Often, the dealer will come back with a better offer if they think you’re serious about leaving. This is because they don’t want to lose a potential sale. So if you’re not happy with the offer, let the salesperson know you’re going to shop around and see what other dealerships can do for you.

We all want to get the best deal possible when buying a used car. By following these tips, you’ll be better positioned to get the best price on your next used car purchase.

The Auto Warehouse is a used car dealership that buys here and pays here, which means we finance the cars we sell. This gives us the ability to finance people with questioned credit history. We support our reputation by including a warranty on all the cars we sell. Visit us to learn more!