Negotiation Tips For Buying A Car

It takes negotiating skills to correctly buy a car
It takes negotiating skills to correctly buy a car
Image Credit: Stephanie Wallace

When we think about negotiating, we tend to think about how to apply our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to business situations. We may be buying or selling supplies, purchasing a location, or trying to schedule the delivery of a product. However, it turns out that our negotiating skills are also useful for us when we are not at work. In our personal lives, we encounter a number of different situations that call for our particular set of skills. One classic situation, whether for us or for someone that we know, is the purchase of a new car.

It’s All About Preparing To Negotiate

As negotiators, we are always asking ourselves the same question when it comes to buying a car: how can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? We realize that cars are not cheap – a car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make. The good news for us is that the price is almost always negotiable. When it comes time to make a car purchase, your first step is the same step that you would take in any negotiation: do your homework.

In the world that we live in, there is a ton of information available to us on the internet regarding any car that we may be thinking about buying. If we don’t do some research, then we’d be making a big mistake. If you take a look online, what you are going to find are things like how much the dealer paid for the car (the invoice price). This is critical information for you because it represents the deal’s walk-away point when he is negotiating with you. Every car is different and so it can be wise to find a website that will allow you to pick the car options that you want in order to find out how they impact the car’s price.

Pick Your Process

The world in which we live is changing very quickly. In the old days you had to go to the auto deal to negotiate to buy a car. Today you have the option of putting out a request for bids from multiple dealers on the web. Your alternative is to go down to a dealership and negotiate with a real live person.

In order to decide what will work best for you, you need to determine just exactly how well you know what kind of car you want to buy. If you feel that you know exactly the car that you want, all options included, then feel free to use the internet to get dealers to bid for your business. You’ll have to be careful because as is the case when negotiating face-to-face, there is always the possibility that a dealer may present you with a lowball price that they then try to raise later on. The experts say that that if your final deciding factor will be cost, then you are best negotiating face-to-face at a dealership.

You Can Always Walk Away

During a business negotiation we generally have a good understanding of what our various options are. However, when we are on our own time and negotiating to buy a car, we may forget how things can be handled. As a negotiator, you always need to keep in mind that exclusivity is a key bargaining chip – you are the person that the salesperson wants to sell this car to.

What this means is that if you so choose to do so, you can walk out the door at any time. If you were to get up and walk out the door without having signed a deal with the car salesman, then for all intensive purposes the deal is dead and he or she just wasted their time talking with you. This is why you always have the option to walk away and why by doing this you can often extract further concessions from the car salesperson. If you do get up to leave, make sure that you know what it will take to get you to stay and sign a deal. This is the critical information that you are going to have to pass on to the salesperson when they ask you to stay.

What All Of This Means For You

Transportation is one of those things that a lot of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about until it become a problem that we have to solve. No matter if we are the ones who have to go buy a new car of if it is a family member or friend, the process can be a bit challenging – how do you get the car that you want at the best price?

Every principled negotiation, including negotiations to purchase a new car, start at the same point: you doing your homework. We live in a wonderful age where just about all of the information that you could ever want is available to you on the internet. Make sure that you know how much a dealer paid for a car before you go in so that you know what his walk away point will be. In our modern age, you can request prices from multiple dealers online or you can visit a dealer in person. If you know what you want, then the online option can be useful. If you want the best price then go visit a dealer face-to-face. During the negotiation for a car, you need to keep in mind that you always hold the power. At any time you can get up and walk away. The car salesperson knows this and will generally make more concessions if they think that they are going to lose the deal.

There’s no two ways about it: a car purchase is a big deal. In order to get the best car for the best price, we need to take the time and do a good job of negotiating with the car dealer. We have the power in these negotiations, we can always go to another dealer. Take your time, do your homework, and you’ll be able to drive away in the car of your dreams at the price that you were willing to pay.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: How close to the invoice price do you think that your initial offer for a new car should be?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When you are in the middle of a negotiation, how do decisions get made? All too often a lot of us end up leaving these types of decisions up to chance no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we are using. These decisions can take on a lot of different disguises including if we are talking with the best person to be doing the negotiating for the other side, if we’ll negotiate in person, what will be talked about, how long it will last, etc. We need to take the time to ask ourselves about how we want to design the deal that we want to get.