You’ve found a used car that suits all of your needs. You’ve shopped around to find a dealer that has that make and model in good condition and with low mileage. You’re ready buy and now the negotiations can begin. But before they do, you’re going to want to make sure you are fully prepared to get the best deal you possibly can. This all starts with research.
Getting the best possible price on a vehicle begins with knowing its value. Much like the Kelley Blue Book in the United States, Parkers is the best place in the United Kingdom to find out exactly what the used car you’re interested in buying is worth.
Along with thousands of used cars for sale, this site can provide vehicle valuations and arm you with everything you need to know about the value of a vehicle as you head into negotiations.
The next thing you’ll need is a strong negotiation strategy. Once you know the bottom line value of a vehicle your strategy should always be to start negotiations somewhere near there. Negotiating down from the dealer’s sticker price will rarely get you the best deal and could cost you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.
You can either pick your price and stick with it, or negotiate up incrementally from there, but you should always be the one making the first offer. As long as the offer is not completely out of the dealer’s range, this puts you in command of the negotiations from the start and lets the dealer know that you know what you’re talking about.
Now that you’ve done your homework and you have a plan, having a little confidence can go a very long way. Used car salespeople negotiate these kinds of deals every day, making them experts in the field. But having confidence in your research and negotiation strategy can balance the scales a little and make sure you don’t get run over by these expert negotiators.
Most experienced used car dealers will be looking to find out exactly what you are willing and able to pay for the car. They’ll try to get you talking to reveal the most you’ll pay. In these types of negotiations, silence can be an incredibly effective tactic.
People are rarely comfortable with silence and even the most experienced used car salespeople will make concessions just to fill in the gaps. If they don’t, you need to be willing to walk away from the table, but keeping quiet during a used car negotiation will usually result in the dealer filling in the holes in the conversation and revealing a lot more about what they’re willing to give up than what you are willing to pay.
Used car dealers are in the business of selling cars and the last thing they want is for you to walk away from a potential deal that could cost them a valuable commission. But as expert negotiators, they’ll use every tactic they can to get the most out of you, including bluffing that they’re willing to walk away in order to get you to make some concessions.
When people bluff they’re putting on a show and often overdo it. If a dealer truly feels like they can’t make a deal and have to walk away, there is bound to be some genuine regret there. If they’re overcompensating, overconfident or being too passionate about a point, chances are it’s a bluff.
Spot one or two of these bluffs and you’ll truly have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating the best price on a used car.