If you missed part one of our guide to buying a used car, take a moment to check it out. We covered choosing the right car, understanding the value of the vehicle, and many aspects of the process.
Is negotiation necessary? It’s such a terrible experience and I feel so intimidated.
Negotiating a car sale isn’t most people’s cup of tea. If you’re buying from a dealer, it means sitting down with someone who has more car sales experience than you. It doesn’t have to be an intimidating process, though. You have all the power in the transaction. You can buy a car from any salesperson, but the salesperson needs to make every sale he can.
How can I make the negotiation go smoothly?
Know your price.
The Internet is a fantastic resource. Once upon a time, the salesperson knew more than the customer about used car prices. Now, you can determine the price you’re willing to pay before you ever walk in. If you want, you can even e-mail back and forth between multiple salespeople, letting them bid against each other.
Don’t say too much.
There’s very little you can say to make a negotiation go better, but there’s a lot you can say to make it go worse. You’re not going to cause the other person to have a sudden change of heart and cut you a better deal, but you might give the clues they need to know they can hold out for more money. If in doubt, don’t say anything. It can be difficult but saying nothing is often the right thing to do.
It’s an old saw in sales: “He or she who can walk away controls the deal.” If you aren’t willing to walk away and leave the salesperson without a sale, then what incentive does he or she have for lowering the price? It feels terrible to spend an entire Saturday on car lots and still wake up on Sunday without a car, but you need to get over it. When you go out to buy a car, make a resolution to wait a week before you buy. That will make it easier to walk away and give you time to make sure you’re certain of your purchase. Wait, and you might get a phone call with a better price, particularly if it’s near month-end. Is it worth it to wait a few days and put in another day of work to save a few hundred dollars? In most cases, it is.
Should I finance the car at the dealer?
One of the keys to negotiating a car deal, whether at the dealership or from a private seller, is securing the best financing available. After all, even a one percent difference in your rate can be worth hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan.
Get your financing first.
The best way to get the best rate is to borrow from your credit union. Our auto loans have fantastic rates, and we’re don’t sneak in any hidden charges or fees. If you come to us first, you can make a clear plan for how much you can spend, so you’re not surprised when that first payment is due. We can also tell you how much you’ll need as a down payment, and we even have some good tools to help in the negotiation for the best price for your used car. You can start the pre-approval process here.
Hopefully, if you’re planning on buying a used car, you’ll save money and get a vehicle that will make you happy for years to come. If not, feel free to trade your vehicle in and start the guide over from the beginning. And remember, you’re welcome to talk with your partners at United Texas for information and guidance to make your car buying experience as enjoyable as possible.
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