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Your Top Tips to Bargaining when Buying a Car?

(6 Posts)
Roma2013 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:25:55

Off to buy a car at weekend. I want the best possible discount but am under-confident at haggling. Open to whether it's a totally new one or a used car.
What are your tips for securing a really good discount?

WMittens Thu 27-Jun-13 22:47:32

Copied and pasted from

If the seller hasn't added 10% on to the asking price they're not doing it right. There are loads of negotiation techniques and it depends how cheeky you want to be.

It helps to have a reason to back up why you want money off - is there something that might make the car unattractive to a buyer? Scratches, worn interior, anything that can make you suck air through your teeth in your best plumber impression.

Full service history - if it doesn't have any then the car's potentially unreliable - knock money off; full service history and a ring binder full of receipts? Car is expensive to run - knock money off.

Tyres/brake pads getting low, need replacing soon - knock money off. Something rattles in the engine - "it's a bit of a gamble mate, but I'll give you £xxx." If you're going to knock something off, having a reason to do so makes them squirm a bit and less likely to just say "no."

Now, cheekiness level - 10% off should be standard, I would think i.e. advertised at £4400, they want £4K for it. If you're lucky they'll agree, but if they've got a modicum of nous they'll cut that back to at least halfway or more in their favour. Go in at 15-20% off if you've got your list of rusty arches and squeaky wheel bearings (as above).

Other things to factor in: do they want rid quickly? I recently got a car for about 15% under the asking price because they needed the space on the drive (first offer was accepted, wish I'd opened a bit lower!). Do they need the money? Are other potential buyers interested in the car?

WMittens Thu 27-Jun-13 22:47:45

Meant to say: the opening gambit can dictate how the negotiation goes. One tactic is to get them to open with a price (although the sort of did in the advert - this advert price is a lie ) - if you say,"will you take...", you've played your hand (like I did when I could maybe have gone lower).

Something like, "I like it but not at four grand, what can you come down to?" means they play their hand first, and it gives you a new starting point to barter lower (they're not going to give their lowest price at the beginning). If they then say £4200, then you can pop in "I was thinking £3750" or something similar.

WMittens Thu 27-Jun-13 22:47:53

I've forgotten to include so many bits:

Research before you go - what identical (ish) cars can you get for a lower price, or what better cars can you get for the same price (lower mileage, newer reg, leather seats instead of cloth, etc.). Not because you want to buy them, but because you want the seller to know his car is overpriced (or you want the seller to know you know).

WMittens Thu 27-Jun-13 22:49:46

And from zumo:

Some excellent advice,
Find the same car in the auto trader and call and see if its sold,you need some idea of what they are selling for.
I always take the money and say I will give you X amount and take it away now, just a quick call to my insurance and away.
My only word of caoution, I once paid a little over the odds for a Landrover but it was worth it as it was by far the best I had seen with all the correct paper work and history, so it is some times worth an extra % age to get the right car, I would also take some one with you who knows cars, many years ago we sold cars from home I was shocked by people who just turned up and paid cash and didnt even look at it properly, we would never sell one with any faults but not every one is the same

Roma2013 Fri 28-Jun-13 09:33:56

Brilliant tips. Thankyou ever so much!

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