Advice on buying an approved used BMW from dealership? How to haggle?

(14 Posts)
Mamushka Tue 23-Jun-15 10:45:59

Any tips on haggling for a shy British person...?!

Looking at BMW 1 series less than 5 years old. One is priced at about £13k, or there's another one we're interested in is about £10k. What is a reasonable amount to expect them to knock off the price, and how to ask for it? Did our research and these prices are slightly over upper end of each car's value according to Autotrader.

Presumably the dealership could argue that while you could get the same model at a better price from a private seller, you wouldn't have the same service, 12 month warranty etc...? Is there a lot of demand for these approved used cars? i.e. How desperate are they to sell? Is it easy for them to say no to our haggling because they'll easily get another customer walking into the dealership the next day and buying it a better price?

So many questions!

Pradaqueen Tue 23-Jun-15 10:59:53

Hi there I was in the car business for a long time. Ignore auto trader. It is a guide not a bible. Cars are worth whatever the market will withstand. If you want the car, it is the right price, colour, age and mileage and whatever other factor you want then buy it. Second hand cars that tick all boxes do not come along again quickly in prestige vehicles particularly unusual colours. You will pay more from a dealer but you have a greater guarantee as the dealer cannot operate without certain financial standards being met. This means if anything goes wrong you can do something about it. This may or may not be worth an extra £1000-1500 or so to you. I would suggest you find out how long the car has been in stock. Anything over 30 days you will get £500 off less than that budget on £250. Don't be talked to buying supaguard it has no value for resale. Makes no odds to the dealer if you pay cash or need finance except that you will be more valuable to them as a customer if you take finance and this won't impact the selling price. Main considerations should be: can I afford to service it at a reputable dealer and buy a car with as much manufacturer's warranty left as you can afford. Hope this helps!

WMittens Tue 23-Jun-15 16:19:23

For someone who was in the car business for a long time, I don't see a lot of sense in the above post, certainly not for a consumer. I'm sure when BMW's lowest model became "prestige", either. It's still a shopping hatchback, for the most part.

There's margin in everything, but less in used vehicles than new.

In terms of asking for a discount, be as cheeky as you like. There is a school of thought that if you don't offend the salesperson with your first offer, you started too high wink For one thing, the dealer is chancing it a bit when they set the advertised price in the first place.

It is best if you have some leverage on your side - does it look like there is going to be a significant bill in the near future, e.g. how long until the next service? Are the tyres worn? (Another thing to look for is uneven tyre wear across the width of the tyres, if so it might need wheel alignment sorting out.)

If not a discount, what can you get thrown in? As above, what about next service included (good for the dealer if they know you're going to be a recurring customer)?

Research (which you've already started doing) - what other models are about for similar prices? You may not want an Audi A3 but the BMW dealer doesn't need to know that.

Is there another dealership close by? After chatting at the first dealer, thank them and tell them you're looking about. If they're eager to sell they would rather cut a deal before you leave the showroom.

Ultimately, have a figure in mind that is the best for you, the figure that is acceptable to you, and the figure that would make you walk away. Aim to get your best, settle if you can get the acceptable, but be prepared to walk away if the deal doesn't get past your absolute limit. There are plenty of 1ers to choose from, they're not a rare car.

WMittens Tue 23-Jun-15 16:20:04

In that first para, I meant to put "I'm not sure when ..."

Pradaqueen Tue 23-Jun-15 18:44:17

Mittens... For your information most new cars are sold at franchised dealerships at a loss. This has nothing to do with the selling price or the a RRP. Unless you are involved in franchised dealerships most consumers are not aware of this fact. The only exception to the loss making rules are odd 'hot' cars like i8's, Ferrari and Lamborghini and currently land rovers but we are not discussing these. Generally anywhere between 80-92% of a dealership profit arises from service profit which is why you cannot haggle the cost of labour. Used cars have the most margin but are not generally sold at a loss. These are facts. The OP was asking what amount is a reasonable amount to try and negotiate. I have provided what is the most likely discount amount. Tyre depths etc have to be to an agreed standard to comply with approved used and as service and sales depts generally compete internally it would be a rare car that did not have more than 4mm on all tyres I can tell you. Having owned shares in several BMW garages until very recently I think my advice probably has quite a lot of merit but up to the OP to decide how much she wants spend and in what. 1 series are plentiful but each can be unique in their own way. Personally I think they are a great car and better than the competition and more reliable. Good luck OP and PM me if you want any help - I still have a lot of contacts in the networks of most prestige brands if you want some specific advice.

WMittens Tue 23-Jun-15 19:31:47

It's information I'm already I'm aware of, thanks, but the OP is not talking about buying a new car so I fail to see the relevance.

A reasonable amount to negotiate is: "every last drop you can squeeze." A shy bairn gets nowt.

Pradaqueen Tue 23-Jun-15 22:35:31

Mittens, read the post. Stop being negative. The OP asked advice for a shy haggler on a used car. You raised the matter of new cars 'having margin' - I did not. Presumably she wants to haggle successfully I.e getting her offer accepted. The advice I have given matches the question asked. Asking way off mark as you suggest will not make the OP rise to the top of any salesman's calling list nor get her the car she is after.

grumpybear68 Tue 23-Jun-15 23:12:31

Make sure you want a BMW. (or any german car for that matter). The price you haggle for the car will be small change compared to the other costs, so the big decision is what car to buy - not how much for. Check out What car, and other related sites, and especially the JD reliability survey.
FWIW statistically you prob wouldn't buy German for reliability / durability.

Once you've decided on the car you want, just look for the best deal & prepare prepare prepare. Ebay is good for this. (Not popular with some I suspect), and never buy in a hurry.
School holidays always seem a good time to buy, as the demand goes down - everyone's on holiday.

WMittens Wed 24-Jun-15 09:35:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mamushka Wed 24-Jun-15 19:09:09

Although there is a bit of debate on this thread I can honestly say that both your viewpoints have been helpful. It's always good to hear more than one side of a story.

I must admit what Pradaqueen said accurately reflects what happened when we went to the dealership yesterday. When we said we were interested in a particular car he took about £500 off immediately due to the fact that like you said, it had been in stock nearly a month. After a test drive the end we did cheekily ask for an "insulting" £1500 more to be taken off. That got a massive no but eventually we got them to come done by about another £500. He also said it made no difference to him whether we paid cash or finance.

DH saw one of these in the showroom and got them to throw one in for our 1 year old DS who was toddling round the showroom and wriggling around on my lap throughout this entire transaction. grin I'm almost more excited about that than the proper car we've just bought!

We'll get free MOTs and monthly wash/valet for life too which is nice smile

Mamushka Wed 24-Jun-15 19:11:08

They forgot to show us the mandatory instructional video though!

Pradaqueen Wed 24-Jun-15 22:17:16

Glad you got the deal you wanted. All my kids have had those little cars and I bloody love them grin happy motoring!

WMittens Wed 24-Jun-15 22:40:16

That got a massive no but eventually we got them to come done by about another £500.

That sounds like doing it right, to me. Nice job.

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Wed 24-Jun-15 22:44:20

I love that ride on! That would've sealed the deal for me too. And I am very impressed at the monthly clean. You did well OP smile

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