Buying a Used Car: 5 Negotiating Tips and Tactics for Getting the Best Deal

Buying a used or pre-owned car is a substantial investment, and you want to make sure you are able to get the most bang for your buck.

Often negotiating and bargaining is a great way to reduce the initial price of the vehicle and make the purchase more affordable and practical for your budget. Here are 5 negotiating tips and tactics for getting the best deal when you are buying a used car.

  1. The first and most important tip for buying a used car is to do your research ahead of time. Look into the car you are interested in buying and see what it is generally selling for on the car market. Be sure to look at certain features as well as the mileage on the car when analyzing the cost.Once you have a general understanding of what you will be able to get for your money, you will have some leverage to talk the seller down or know when you are getting a good deal. Be sure to check out sites like Kelly Blue Book and even Craigslist to get a solid, reasonable idea about what you should be willing to pay for a specific vehicle.
  2. Determine what you want to buy ahead of time, don’t let the salesperson tell you what you want. Even if you are not sure between two car models just yet, you should know other necessities. Do you need leather seats, a GPS, Sirius Radio? If not, don’t let the salesperson convince you that you do. Check our buying guide on best car wax here.Also, since you are buying a used vehicle, know how many miles you want on the car. If you want a car that has no more than 30,000, be sure to express this firmly and double check for each car before you get sucked in by a sales pitch and find out the car has 60,000 miles on it after the fact.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to shop. Never rush yourself or let a salesperson rush you to make a purchase. Give yourself a few hours to look, and even consider coming back the next day so you can think things over and consider the offer. Making a hasty decision could lead to a choice you may regret if you don’t think it through and weigh the pros and cons.
  4. Do not feel pressured by “limited time” offers , promotions and deals. If this salesperson won’t give you flexibility, there is always another dealership that will, and usually these promotions last at least a few days or even a few weeks. Remember that you have options and you do not ever need to feel pressured to buy a car right then and there if you’re not ready.
  5. Finally, be sure to negotiate other features and perks into the deal before signing a contract. Often you can get a full tank of gas, oil changes for a year and other benefits by negotiating with the salesperson in advance. You never know unless you try; just be sure to get everything in writing.