How To Negotiate to Buy A Used Car


When it comes to negotiating the price of a car there are a few things to remember that may end up saving you more than a fistful of dollars. Yet haggling and negotiation can be a minefield for those not used to it, so read on to learn more about alternative strategies to use when you find yourself looking for a deal.

Opening The Proceedings

If you have ever seen Shark Tank you probably have learned that the first one to make an offer often loses. Ideally, have them make the first offer. A good way to ask this is to say: “I have been researching and what kind of discounts can you give me on this vehicle?” Keep an eye on the salesman, watch their body language, they may try and mislead you by acting around but if they head off to the manager, it is usually a good sign. With a private owner, a low-ball offer may be seen as an insult. Ask them: “What’s your best price for this car?” and see if they ill lower the price some. You can always counter…


If you are countered with an offer that your research suggests is good, you may be on your way. But if the counteroffer is high you may want to head for the exit, but take your time doing so as they may come up with a better offer. Dealerships try to wear you down over time by having you speak with different people. Demand an answer right away and tell the salesperson you only have limited time. Only raise your opening offer by small increments and keep making them smaller as time goes along. When dealing with a private person, if you cannot agree, leave them your phone number with your offer. They may reach out to you having had time to consider it further.

Agreeing Terms

As you are getting ready to agree a price the salesperson may try to sell you add-on’s like a free maintenance plan. It is best to make the deal simple but do not agree until all the numbers have been approved and agreed including taxes, registry and documentation fees.

Signing The Deal

When you have agreed a deal verbally, it is time to make sure everything in writing agrees with what was agreed. Additional alarms, accessories and extended warranties may try to be added by the sales team. However when purchasing from a private party, find out ahead hat documents your state requires when making a car purchase and be sure you get a clear title and a bill of sale.

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