Buying a used car is a popular choice for those who are looking for rare car models or for those who are on a strict budget. If you decide to buy your own, you should be prepared to negotiate. Otherwise, private sellers or car dealers might persuade you into paying more than you really should.
If it’s your first time to buy a second hand car, there are many ways to prepare yourself when it comes to discussing the vehicle’s price with a seller. In this article, we give you some tips on how you can negotiate with car dealers or private sellers when purchasing a used car.
1. Do your research
Knowledge is power. Even before you meet with the car seller, you should already know the car model and specifications you want, including its current price in the used car market. In this way, a car seller will quickly realise that you know a lot about cars and they may think twice before asking for a price that is much higher than what the car is really worth.
To research on how much the car is selling at the moment, simply check the Internet. There are many websites and forums that are dedicated to the used car market and offer information about different car makes and models. These websites can also provide helpful tips on buying used car, how to inspect a used car or how other buyers have successfully negotiated with sellers. Several large car dealers also have their own websites online where they list the cars they have on sale. Be sure to check their websites to get an idea of how much they are pricing a particular make and model.
If you have a family member, colleague or friend who is knowledgeable about cars, try to seek their advice as well. You may pick up some helpful tips from them or leads on where you can buy a second hand car. Remember, take your time to do your research as anything you learn can help you make good decisions when buying a second hand car.
2. Set your price
Once you’ve done your research on how much the used car costs, you can now set your budget. Determine how much you are willing to pay for the car and have this price in mind when you are negotiating with the seller. Start the negotiation with a low but reasonable price. Then, bargain your way to an amount which is agreeable for both you and the seller. Once you have both agreed on the price, put it in paper. If in case any problems arise with regard to the deal, you have a signed contract.
3. Talk to a number of car sellers
There are many car sellers who would love to sell you a car. Explore the used car market, talk to a number of car dealers and sellers, and see who can give you the best price. Once you talk to these sellers, compare their offers and pick the one that best suits your budget.
Also, when the car sellers find out that they are not the only one you’re negotiating with, they might be more willing to consider the price you’re asking for because they do not want to lose you as a customer.
4. Don’t show your ‘hot buttons’
When you are meeting with the car seller, don’t show them that you are eager and ready to purchase the car. Otherwise, they can easily increase its price because they know that you already have the money and can’t wait to own it!
When meeting with a seller, keep your cool, stay calm and don’t give any hints that you’re ready to buy the used car. Let them discuss first what the specifications are and if they decide to talk about other cars, let them. This will show car sellers that you are not eyeing just one particular model and they wouldn’t increase its price.
5. Have it inspected by an independent mechanic
There are some car sellers who will do anything to sell you a used car, even if it means faking a vehicle report. So, it’s best that you always have an independent mechanic to inspect the car before you purchase it.
Have the mechanic check if the engine, interior, and exterior are all in good condition. Then cross check his report with the one the car seller has. In this way, you will also know if the dealer can be trusted.
6. Give an ultimatum
Always remember that you are the customer, and you shouldn’t let the car sellers pressure you into buying the used car right away. You should always ask them for some time to think about it.
As for the price, you should set an amount which is the final price you are willing to pay for. Make it your ultimatum and if the car seller does not agree with the price, then move on. Remember that you can always find another used car that you want or another seller who can sell you a car at the price you can afford.
7. Be prepared to walk away
During the process of buying a used car, you might discover that you and the seller have disagreements on the price which you cannot settle. Keep in mind that the used car you want is not the only vehicle in the world. There are many other cars and car dealers who you can talk to and who can give you the best rate that fits your budget.
As such, if you don’t agree with the price being asked by the seller, you should be prepared to turn your back and walk away from the deal. This will show that you have your mind set on what you really want.
Some final words
Looking for a used car can be a tough job especially because you are investing money in a vehicle that may not perform as well as a brand new car or may have hidden damages that will cost you a fortune to have repaired later on. You should be very thorough in your research and inspection if you are determined to buy a used car. It would be helpful to seek advice of car experts who can guide you into buying a used car which is worth the price and can last for years to come. It can also help to go to a trusted car dealer as they offer quality used cars and reasonable terms and conditions.