negotiating new car price

Hate Haggling? Top Tips for Negotiating New Car Price

Car shopping can be incredibly difficult and draining — but why is that? Is it the number of choices between cars and their features? It’s certainly tough finding the right car for your lifestyle and ensuring the reliability of it takes some serious looking into. Is it the money it’ll take to purchase the car?

Yes. Enough said.

But what you always hear people complain about is the haggling, and it turns out many people are not good at negotiating their new car price.

It might have something to do with the fact that we live in America, and it’s not very often that we get the chance to barter for a cheaper price on a product.

But that’s a whole other topic. So, let’s get down business: how do you best out-deal the dealer?

1. Do Your Homework

Buying a car and negotiating new car prices are hectic, so before you do anything, do your homework on sites like Kelly Blue Book.

Shop around online and look at the cars you’re interested in, as well as their pricing and reviews. You need to know what the numbers are so when you walk into that dealership and the salesperson tells you $27,000 for a $24,000 car, you can look them confidently in the eye and say "no".

While you’re at it, calculate the estimated fees and sales tax, and maybe do a little digging into the reviews of the dealership you plan to go to — you never know, you could find some valuable information there. Negotiating new car prices might not be your forte, but if you come bearing knowledge, then you have the power.

2. Shop Around

There’s no rule saying you can’t shop around; in fact, that’s probably the best way you can find the freshest deal! It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep organized and write down your comparative prices and incentives as you rotate through your options.

This will also make it easier for you to tell dealers what other prices you’ve been given while negotiating, which might, in turn, provide you with an opening for lowering the price.

Dealers usually attempt to meet competitors’ pricing, so having a steel trap of knowledge will give you an edge. If you are buying a car and considering an auto loan, this process will prove beneficial in comparing lender terms and conditions.

Auto loans can be tricky, so including it in your graph when you're negotiating new car prices will allow you to discuss it knowledgeably.

3. Sell Your Old Car Yourself

If you’re going to sell your old car in the process of getting your new one, then you need to get onto a site where you can evaluate the value of your current car.

If you want to try to trade in your car while negotiating your new car price, then at the very least you’ll know if you’re being swindled out of what you’re owed.

However, some websites like Mentalfloss have done research that indicates selling outright might be a better option. Dealerships might attempt to tack on extra costs during your negotiation through backend costs.

Don’t Want to Sell Outright?

If you are adamant about trading in your car at the dealership, then wait until the end of your price negotiating to mention that you intend to sell your old car.

At the end of your haggling, you’ll have most of the price estimates locked in, and it will be a little more difficult for the dealer to attempt to slide in anything substantial that will ruin the deals you’ve already made.

4.Get the Salesperson to Go First

Try not to be the one who goes first while negotiating new car prices.
It’s better to know your opponent’s thoughts before you reveal any of your own, and knowing where they intend to start is not only a good indication of what kind of person you’re dealing with, but it will start you out strong. Once you name a price yourself, you can’t go any lower, but you do have a chance of getting the sales rep to do so!

5. Discuss Prices Remotely

Once you know what car you want and have visited a dealership to give it a test drive, it might not be a bad idea to negotiate remotely. You won’t have to worry about the anxiety that comes with face-to-face negotiation, and if at any time you dislike what you’re hearing, you can simply hang up.

Of course, whoever you’re talking to will try to get you to come in, but just explain to them that you already have, and know which car you want. The phone provides a buffer between you and the dealer, and the comfort of your home along with being able to reference your numbers directly in front of you provides a strong fortress in your battle for bargains.

6. Finalize Deals with Managers

Managers have the power in the places of purchases, so it’s no surprise that when negotiating new car prices, you should definitely finalize everything with a manager.

Managers aren’t on commission, and if you negotiate at the end of the month near the times the need to hit their quotas, then getting your purchase will be all the more important for them.

7. Get Pre-Approved

If you’re taking out an auto loan, your best choice before negotiating your new car price is to get pre-approved.
Pre-approval for your auto loan will not only provide you with a budget to work with, but it will also provide a set goal of expenditure that the dealership will likely attempt to match.

If putting a downpayment on your new car is leaving you strapped for cash at the moment, an online title loan, or an online installment loan will allow you the extra breathing room you need until your next payday.

woman got a Mississippi title loan


So, if you plan on buying a car this year, remember what we’ve discussed here in order to best negotiate your new car price:

  • Do your homework on the car you want and the costs associated
  • Consider your buying and selling options
  • Auto loans are best addressed with pre-approval
  • Don’t name the price first, but let the manager name it last

Happy hunting and best of luck in negotiating your new car price!

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

Mason Roberts

Mason Roberts is a seasoned economics writer and blogger with a knack for breaking down and simply communicating the ever-changing world of finance. He is philosophically committed to the premise that financial knowledge equals financial freedom.