How to Negotiate the Right Car Deal

  • Posted 13 Aug

How to Negotiate the Right Car Deal

Car buying can be expensive and time consuming, but smart buyers can often negotiate a better deal with the right information. With a little research and some patience, you may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Whether you are in the market for a new or used car, these negotiation tips can help you get a lower price for your next vehicle.

Know what you want

If you’ve done your homework and decided on one or two cars you really want, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you start approaching dealers. You can find out pricing information for new and used cars on the Internet, and you can also see what options are available for the car and how much these extras will cost.

Shop around

But you don’t have to let sellers know that you are committed to a specific car. Instead, tell them you intend to shop around and explore your options. If you find a particular make and model you like, ask if they have any similar vehicles at a lower price point.

Keep in mind that you’ll get the best deal on a car that a dealer already has on his lot. If he has to special order a new car with a different colour or custom options, you’ll end up waiting and you’ll also pay more. If you don’t see exactly what you want, call around to other nearby locations and see if they have your dream car in stock.

Separate transactions

Dealers make more money when then offer one-stop convenience. If you sell your trade in, buy your next car, and get your financing all in one place you are probably not getting the best deal.  A dealer may offer you an unrealistically high value on your old vehicle, but make up the difference by charging you a higher financing rate.

The best way to avoid this issue is to leave car loans out of your negotiation. Work with your bank or an independent agency to secure car financing before starting the negotiation process to get a better deal on your interest rate.


If you are negotiating with a private seller or a dealer who does not list prices, don’t be the first one to name an amount. Make the seller commit to a figure, then you can try to negotiate down and let them know if you’ve found similar vehicles at a lower price.

To make sure you don’t run into hidden fees, make it clear that you are negotiating the “on the road” price, which will cover dealer charges, statutory taxes, and any additional options you are adding to the car. If you are trading in your old car as part of the deal, make sure you ask for the “changeover price”, which includes all of the above and takes into account the value you’ve negotiated for your trade-in.

If you are in the market for a new or used car and want to discuss your car loan options, Australian Credit and Finance can help. Contact our loan experts today to begin your car buying experience.

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