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The art of a good deal

Buying a new car is a big-ticket purchase, where a decent amount of money can be saved. The new 2018 ’18’ plates have arrived and will run until the ’68’ plates are introduced on September 1st. For some people the fun is negotiating a good deal. I’m not the best negotiator, but I want a fair price when buying a car. How do you negotiate the best deal buying a new car?

New Rules

Drive by numbers

Although car registrations dipped by 5.4% in 2017, there were still 2.54m cars sold in the UK, as per the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Last year was the third best year in a decade, and the sixth best year on a record, since the 1950s.

Do your homework

The web has firms ready to help on getting prices for new cars, saving you time before visiting your local dealer. Have a clear decision on exactly what car you’re after. It may mean test-driving a car and understand your ideal specification, colour, manual or automatic etc. The more specific you are with what you want, the stronger your position in the showroom.

The salesman will make a big play sell you a car on a finance package, as manufacturer-subsidised incentives that can make these packages quite attractive. It can be cheaper to use finance provided by the dealer, but remember that until you sign, you can walk away from the deal at any time. Here are other tips for negotiating a better car deal.

  • Know the price. Before you can negotiate, you need to know the car that is listed and any optional extras available.
  • Remain calm for the best deal. Car salesmen are trained to make maximum profit for their dealership.
  • Play your cards close to your chest. A better deal can be done on a car that’s already in stock. Hold back, even if you have seen a car in stock that matches your requirements.
  • Be nice. Being friendly throughout delivers a better the deal and less money for the salesman’s bonus.
  • Don’t rush. Giving the impression that you’re desperate for a car, may cause the salesman to blunt their best price.
  • If you’re buying a used car, run a background check on it with a specialist company. All they need to do this is a number plate. If any problems show up, walk away immediately.
  • Get a detailed quote before haggling. By including loads of options (which you may or may not want) you think that you’re getting a great deal, but the salesman is stacking the deal as an expert negotiator.
  • Ask for extra bits. If there is no room for negotiation on price, you can still ask for some nice extras to sweeten the deal.

If you ignore the above, please shop around first. Getting quotes in writing from at least 3 dealers from the same manufacturer or franchise before visiting your local dealer can significantly help your negotiations. If they can’t beat the deal on the table they may be able to match it.

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Date: 12 March 2018 by Max Robinson