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How to Negotiate the Best Car Price

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When you think of negotiating car prices, the first thing that probably comes to mind is arguing with a used car salesman at the lot, trying to take a zero off the sticker price. However, it hasn’t worked this way for decades. Negotiation opportunities are everywhere when it comes to cars – they’re in vehicle customization, sticker price, payment terms and financing options. Discover some tips that will help you save money and negotiate the best car prices.

Know Before You Go

Exactly what should you know before you purchase a vehicle? Thanks to the internet, you can pretty much find almost anything on any type of car.

Gathering information and doing your research can seem tedious. However, when it comes to negotiating, the more knowledge you have, the better chances you have at getting the best deal.

With the proper understanding of the car that best fits your demands, you'll have the leverage you need to negotiate with dealers. When it’s time to visit the dealership, just remember to avoid seeming needy or urgent. The more confident you are, the more in control you are of the deal. And never buy a car until you are financially set - jumping into such a big investment too early will only lead to financial problems down the road.

Some information you should know on how to negotiate the best car prices includes:
  • Your budget. Before you start shopping, research your finances and determine what kind of budget you have and how much you want to spend on a vehicle.
  • Price range. Once you have a set budget, filter your auto searches by price. Having a determined price range will help you avoid being persuaded to shop for vehicles outside your budget.
  • Recalls/repairs. While searching vehicles, consider using websites like Carfax to see if there are any recalls on a particular vehicle and to review the maintenance history. You can search by make or model and find information that compares it to similar models.
  • Value.Knowing the value of the car can help you negotiate the best car price. Using sites such as Kelley Blue Book, or the National Automobile Dealers Association will give you an average value. In addition, you can search sales prices online on any dealer's website.
Keep Your Options Open to Negotiate the Best Car Price

Negotiating doesn’t necessarily mean just knocking down the sales price of the car. Your goal should include looking for the best price, rate and terms, so be sure to negotiate inside and outside of the dealership. Look into deals from multiple places and websites.

If you are considering trading in, be aware of the value of your current car just like you are of the car you want to buy.

If you are not satisfied with the trade offer, there is no harm in declining and trying outside sources. There are multiple alternatives that can give you a cash offer for your car. On sites such as Carvana, you can submit your vehicle information and get an offer within minutes.

However, if you are going to trade in your vehicle at the dealership, do it as a separate transaction. Sometimes, combining your trade-in with the purchase can end up in an altered trade value.

Understand Agreements and Get Preapprovedd

When negotiating an agreement, be sure to talk about the sales price, not just the monthly payment. Dealers can work the finance terms and extend the repayment term to get you the low monthly payment you want. But you might not know how much more in interest charges you will end up paying for a longer payment term.

You should also avoid adding extra warranties when you negotiate the best car prices. These increase the final sales price, and they are included in the financing. So, you end up paying interest on unnecessary and costly additions.

As part of your initial research, you should also be ready to verify terms, rates, payment amounts and more. You can quickly find an online car loan calculator to compare and verify the amounts given to you by the dealer.

To avoid dealer markups with financing options directly from the dealership, get a preapproval. With a good credit score, the preapproval process will go smoothly and you can take advantage of low interest rates and favorable terms. Getting preapproved will give you the upper hand when negotiating at the dealership as it turns you into a "cash buyer." It will also help you establish a budget so you don't overspend.

Power Financial Credit Union Has the Solution 

When you are ready to get preapproved, Power Financial Credit Union is here to help. We can walk you through the process to make it as quick and convenient as possible.

If you want to avoid the haggling and negotiating process at the dealership, we offer our members a simple car-buying experience, free of charge, through our partnership with Auto Advisors. Auto Advisors will handle everything for you. They will find you the perfect car for your budget and get the best offer for your trade-in, and they'll even have your car delivered to your home!

As one of the almost 35,000 members of Power Financial Credit Union, you can find and finance your new car with ease. Visit us at any of our full-service branches across South Florida or contact us online to get preapproved for your next vehicle.