How to Negotiate for a New Car

Are you thinking about buying a new car? Negotiating the price can be very stressful and some people walk away from the lot feeling like they were scammed. While getting auto financing may not be as difficult as purchasing a house, you still want to make certain that you get the best deal possible. Before you embark on the process of buying a new car, here are a few tips that can help you negotiate with any dealership.

Know When the Best Deals Appear

Buying a new car doesn’t always mean you’re buying the most recent model year of a vehicle–and opting for an older model that’s been updated, you could rack up some savings. Decide if you want a new car that’s brand new and the most current year model, or if you’re interested in a car that’s new to you. You can save a lot of money if you look at older vehicles. Many sources suggest waiting until the next year’s model comes out. When this occurs, the price of the current models will drop overnight.

For example, if you’re buying a car in 2017, wait until the 2018 models hit the lots. If there are any new, unpurchased 2016 cars still available, you’ll find that the price is significantly lower on them. Of course, buying used can save you even more, but you never know what issues you’ll get with a pre-owned vehicle.

According to Nerd Wallet, the newer models start rolling out in September, so that’s a great time to start looking at the current year’s cars because dealers will be wanting to make some room on their lot for the next year’s vehicles.


Do Your Research

Look up auto quotes online and compare them, or visit dealerships to discover what the specific make and model you want is going for before you buy. This way, you’ll enter into negotiations with an idea of the average value of the car you want. Check several sources, especially dealerships in your area. You might find one has a vehicle that’s priced better than their nearby competitors.

Shop at the End of the Month

If you can afford to wait until the end of the month, that’s actually the best time to go car shopping. This is because the salespeople who haven’t made their quota yet are trying to close a few more sales. You’re more likely to be able to negotiate the price down because the salespeople are a more desperate to make a sale than they are earlier in the month.

Go in During the Week

Many people shop for cars on the weekend when they’re off work. If you can instead do so during the week, you can spend more time with a salesperson. They won’t have many other customers to talk to, so you’ll have their attention. With fewer people there to sell to, they’ll either have to negotiate with you or risk losing what might be their only sale of the day.

Look at the Stats

A two-door coupe with a V-8 engine might seem like the sexiest option, but these sporty cars are also often more expensive. If you look for a four-door sedan with a smaller engine, you’re likely to find that they’re priced in a more affordable range. Cars that are considered entry-level or that don’t have all of the fancy extras can often be negotiated down a little more, too. Opt out of features like leather seats, a sunroof, and even smart features like satellite radio to work your way to a lower overall price.

Start Low

The starting point of your negotiations isn’t the sticker on the window—it’s the price you know is lower than what the dealership will accept. Sometimes that’s $5,000 or more below the sticker price. If you start at a less feasible price, you’re more likely to be able to get the dealer down to the price you really want to pay. Make sure you carefully examine the car and point out anything that you feel is a flaw or defect. That will give you extra negotiating power, too.

Now that you’re armed with negotiating tips and tricks, you can head to your local car dealership ready to receive the best possible price. Don’t forget to put what you’ve learned to use–and always do your own research before heading to the lot.