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How To Negotiate With A Car Dealer

It’s hard enough finding a car you like, so here is some straight forward advice on how to negotiate the best car deal with you local dealership

  • Pick a car that’s in stock. Regardless of what they tell you, if they have to bring it in from a dealership in another city, it’s costing you more than it needs to.
  • Don’t start negotiating until you’re ready to buy the car. It doesn’t make sense to ask the dealership what their best price is when you’re not ready to buy.
  • Make the first offer. Do your homework (which we’ll explain next) and know how much of a discount you should expect to get.
  • Do NOT buy a car that you haven’t researched. Once you’ve found a car you like, take a day or two to prepare – read reviews, compare prices, etc.
  • If you’re buying a used car, the main thing to look for is the going market value of similar cars in your area.
  • If you’re buying a new car, there’s a little more work to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Go to and download the price report for the model you’re interested in. This report will tell you how much markup is in the model you’re looking at – as well as any current incentives offered by the manufacturer.
  • Call several dealerships and ask to speak with the sales manager. Tell them you’re looking to buy a car right away and want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
  • Let them know you have purchased a CCC report and would like to purchase the car for $500 over cost (appropriate on most cars under $40,000). For a more expensive vehicle, it might take a little more, but it doesn’t hurt to start low.
  • Care less than they do. As long as you’re prepared to walk away, you’ll be in the best position to negotiate your new car deal. Remember, the auto industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world, and dealerships will usually compete very hard for your business especially if they know you’re considering buying from their competitor down the street.

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