Before you go shopping for a vehicle, it is vital that you understand what your legal rights are under consumer protection laws like the California Lemon Law. You also should be prepared to haggle the price of the vehicle so you can get the best deal possible.
The Washington Post explained that skilled negotiators could save up to 15 percent off the purchase price if they are able to successfully haggle when making their car deal, but unfortunately many people aren't sure where to start when it comes to negotiating successfully.
The good news is that there are ways to haggle a lower car price. In fact, the Washington Post has provided a list of 12 tips that you can take advantage of next time you buy a vehicle so you can keep more money in your pocket.
12 Tips for Haggling a Lower Price for a New Car Purchase
Twelve key ways to successfully negotiate for a better price on your new car include the following:
- Secure outside financing before you go to the dealers. Don't let dealers make money on financing or trick you into buying a more expensive car by giving you a long loan term so your payments don't seem as high.
- Decide whether to buy in person or online, based on what best suits your personality: You can negotiate a deal over the Internet if you're more comfortably doing that than haggling in person.
- Know how much you should be paying and what your trade-in should be worth: Do your research using tools like Kelley Blue Book so you'll be an informed consumer.
- Focus on negotiating vehicle price, not monthly payment: Dealers often try to get you to buy a more expensive car by stretching out the length of the loan so the payment looks lower when you actually end up paying more over time.
- Ask the sales person to make an offer first: If you make the first offer, you aren't going to be able to go any lower. Let the dealer throw out a suggestion first so you'll have more control over the negotiation.
- Name your desired number, then stop talking: Dealers will often rush to fill the silence with concessions if you simply stop talking once you've finally made a suggested offer.
- Show your discomfort when a dealer makes an offer: When the dealer throws out a number, use your acting skills to visibly wince.
- Counter their offer with a smaller concession: If the dealer drops his suggested price by $1,000, raise your offer only by $500.
- Be ready to walk out the door: Don't hesitate to leave the dealership or hang up the phone. The dealer likely won't want you to leave and will be willing to make concessions to keep you there.
- Shop at multiple dealerships: Be ready to look around for the best deals. You can play one dealer off another so they compete for your business and you can ultimately buy from the dealer who gives you the rock-bottom price you're looking for.
- Ask the dealer for upgrades when you're close to closing: If you can't get any more concessions on the price of the vehicle, ask for upgrades like a longer warranty or a better sound system for the vehicle, as a dealer may be more likely to concede on these items even when he won't lower the price any further.
- Don't bring up your trade-in until the end of negotiations: If you discuss your trade-in early, it makes the transaction more confusing and gives the dealer more room to play with the numbers to make a deal look good when it isn't.
While price is one important consideration, of course you also want a safe and reliable car. If your vehicle turns out to have problems or defects, talk with an Orange County lemon law attorney to find out how the law could protect you.