a customer haggling with a salesperson over a new car

5 Tips for Haggling over a New Car

Every day the battle lines are drawn between new car buyers and the sales representatives they deal with. It's a common fight with very high stakes. Here are five tips that you can use as ammunition when haggling over the price of a new car.

  1. Decide what you're willing to pay.

    Before you leave the house, make sure you've done your homework so that you know the maximum amount you're willing to pay for your chosen car. Also understand that sales representatives prefer to approach the transaction from the monthly payment angle. That's just a tactic to get you to accept a higher sale price that can be spread out to reduce your monthly payment. Don't fall for it.

  2. Give them the silent treatment.

    Every experienced sales representative steps away from his or her desk to “talk to the manager.” In all likelihood, they are both listening to you over the speaker phone to see what you have to say. You can deny them any ammunition by simply remaining silent. If you do speak, talk about inconsequential things like the weather.

  3. Be prepared to walk away.

    Sales representatives working on commission can't afford to let you walk out the door without a signed contract. Therefore, you have a lot of leverage if you're willing to walk away from the deal. Go into it with the mindset that if it's necessary, you'll leave. There are always other places to purchase a new car.

  4. Demonstrate your knowledge.

    If the sales representative believes you're clueless about the car-buying process, you can bet he or she will try to take advantage of you. Don't let that happen. Use the conversation to establish that you know exactly what you're doing. A knowledgeable customer is one less likely to be taken advantage of.

  5. Negotiate with confidence.

    Combined with knowledge, an attitude of confidence can win the day for you. Don't be timid during negotiations. After all, you're the one spending the money. Be confident and firm at all times, maintaining a position of strength. Get the deal you want or don't make a deal at all.