Almost every article on used car negotiation advises you “Do No Be Afraid To Walk Away” or “Don’t fall in love with the car” or “Keep your budget secret”. 🙄 Really?

As you very well know, you will fall in love with the car before you decide to buy it (otherwise, you wouldn’t have decided to buy it) and you also know that once you fall in love with the car, it becomes very hard to walk away from it.

So unless you want to take up meditation for a few years to become a Zen Master before buying a new car, here are 3 realistic tips on what you need to do to get the best possible deal:

Research The Dealership You’re Buying From

  1. Do they have solid online reputation? Read their good and bad online reviews and strive for a dealership with a 4.7 score or higher with at least 500 reviews. Be sure to read the long winded reviews because those will reveal how you’ll most likely be treated post-purchase.
  2. Call the dealership up and talk to some of the staff just like you would with any organization where you’re making a big purchase. What kind of attitude do you feel like you’re receiving from the staff? If you feel like the person on the other side genuinely cares about your questions and is providing solid answers, then you’re probably going to enjoy your experience there.

Research The Top 3 Cars You’re Interested In

  1.  Don’t settle for one make/model. Have at least 3 so you have options. Make them all options you’re willing to buy. Having options, automatically removes the strong attachment that you might have when you’re zooming in on one-of-a-kind type car and that will give you negotiating power with the dealer. Walking away becomes walking to another option v.s not getting what you want.
  2. Research the recall history on the cars you’re interested in and also lookup customer discussions on various forums like the awesome Don’t take the dealer’s word for it since the dealer is in the business of selling the car. Know what you’re getting from other people.

Do The Numbers Before Visiting the Dealer

  1. We found that the customers that are the happiest with their purchase are the ones that did their research beforehand and negotiate on real market prices. Look at various pricing data and at least use and These are good starting points.
  2. Have 3 price points you’re actually willing to pay for each car that you’re interested in categorized by Low, Fair, and High. Where low you know you’re stealing the car, fair is what everyone is paying and high is still within the acceptable boundary, but it’s the maximum you’re willing to pay. Your job is hover around Fair, but knowing that you’ve gotten what you’ve paid for even with a number close to High. 

Best of luck in your next used car purchase. If you have any questions about buying a used car, please don’t hesitate to email us or call us. We’ll be more than happy to help!