How To Haggle For A Used Car From A Dealer & Private Seller

car sale

For millions of people around the world, used vehicles present the best opportunity for a bargain when it comes to finding your next car. There’s a good reason for that. New cars are often seen as an unnecessary expense given how quickly they depreciate in value. Luckily, there are ways that you can negotiate for a better price on your used car. This is why we have put together this guide on How To Haggle For A Used Car. 

With used cars, negotiating on price is seen as part of the process. It is perfectly acceptable to push for the best possible deal. And most sellers will expect to be at least somewhat flexible in order to make the sale. Exactly how much to haggle for a used car is slightly more delicate. 

This article will provide some of the best and most effective ways that you can haggle for a used car. Whether you’re buying from a dealership or a private seller, there are a number of straightforward tactics that should help make your purchase more affordable. 

Know Your Stuff

how to haggle for a used car

As with so many things in life, information is key. Knowing the ins and outs of what you’re buying should be your number one concern. As ultimately, it will guide you in determining how to bargain down a used car

You may be tempted to just see how it goes, to play it by ear and hear out the salesperson. But, if you go into the process thinking that way, you massively increase your chances of being ripped off or buying something that isn’t right for you.

Without a doubt, the best way to bargain for a used car is by doing your research. One of the most common mistakes people make when buying a used car is simply not understanding the value of a specific make and model. 

Make sure you have thoroughly researched the car listed in the advertisement or brochure. Look at the individual specifications of the car (the engine, mileage, electronics, etc) and decide if it matches what you want!

Regardless of if you are buying from a dealer or a private seller, it is worthwhile to get a detailed quote before you go to inspect the vehicle. Not only will this prove handy when it comes to negotiating the price. But it also gives you a benchmark for the seller’s valuation that you can then check against the valuations of similar cars. 

One of the benefits of buying from a dealership is that there will be people on hand to answer your requests. This means that often all you have to do to receive a quote is send an email to an employee. Doing your research early can prevent annoyance down the road. Additionally, it will mean that you avoid an unnecessary trip to the dealership.

The Baseline Price

There are a number of online resources that you can use to help you haggle for a used car. A good starting point is to check the manufacturer’s website for a baseline price. 

If the car is listed as the same or more than that, you can be fairly certain it is not a good deal. Next, have a look at some used car websites to see what price other people are selling the model at. 

Websites like FairSquare have thousands of vehicles listed. Something which should help estimate the going rate for any specific car. 

This information could be an effective bargaining chip down the road. Sellers will be more willing to cut a deal if they know you might be taking your business elsewhere. 

If you go into negotiations armed with some fundamental knowledge, you stand a far better chance of getting what you want.

Stand Your Ground

used car

Now for the part that can make some people nervous – talking to the seller. There is no reason to be afraid of haggling. It happens across the world and it can even be fun if you approach it in the right way. 

Even if the dealer seems frustrated or put out, it is an accepted part of the process. Mastering this art can help you to drive away happy. 

As a general rule, you should conduct any discussions you have politely and respectfully. However tempted you may be, don’t try to use intimidation as this will not work: this isn’t wall street after all! 

The thing to watch out for is the seller’s intentions. Just because they are being polite doesn’t mean that they aren’t also looking for the best deal. 

The sales representative who shows you the car will likely be an experienced operator who knows how to haggle. So be aware that the seller is unlikely to become your friend. Treat everything with a healthy dose of suspicion and you should be able to avoid sleepwalking into a terrible buy.

Try to play your cards close to your chest and withhold some information that the seller might be interested in. At the same time, you can try to probe for aspects of the car’s specifications that might make the seller more willing to offer a good deal. 

If the car has been on the road for a long time and racked up a lot of miles, for example, it would be worth pointing this out and seeing how the seller reacts. If you saw an advertisement for the same model at a better price, this is also something that you should discuss. 

Haggling A Dealer vs Private Seller

how to haggle for a used car

How to haggle for a used car – private seller and how to haggle for a used car at a dealership can differ. When negotiating, there are some small differences between buying from a dealer or a private seller. It is often less risky to buy from a large dealership. This is because you will be afforded more rights from consumer protection regulation and protocol.

Private sellers on the other hand will have fewer vehicles on the market and may be prepared to cut a swift and cheap deal. But there have been instances where buyers have been scammed by these kinds of purchases. In both situations, it is always best to be on the side of caution. 

Do your research prior to having any meeting and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about something. There is, after all, a lot of money on the table. And it’s all too easy to rush into a purchase that turns out to be not as advertised.  

The bottom line is that – as the customer – you hold all the cards. If you don’t want to buy the car, there is nothing stopping you from simply walking away. In fact, this can be an extremely effective negotiating tactic in its own right. 

Sales representatives are eager to hit targets and wring the maximum value out of every sale. But by being willing to walk away you might be able to get them to settle for a better price. Equally, private sellers have no great incentive to haggle endlessly. And they may be flexible once they know that you won’t just accept the starting price. 

Be patient, stay calm, and never accept a deal that you know isn’t good. These are by far the most effective tools at your disposal and should help you learn how to haggle for a used car from a dealer or a private seller. 

Our Final Thoughts

used car

So, to conclude, make sure you are familiar with these bargaining tips before buying a used car:

  • Begin the process armed with ample information
  • Don’t give anything away to the seller
  • Be prepared to stand your ground

If this sounds a little bit intimidating, just remember that it is your money and you can do what you want with it. 

You have a right – just like anybody else – to shop around for the best deal and to take the time required to find the used car of your dreams.

Once you have haggled for your first used car, you’ll find it an immensely rewarding experience that could save you bundles of cash. 

Why not take a look at our range and find something you like the look of?

Of our competitors, we are the only service to offer both new and used car searches on our website. Additionally, we have more vehicles in stock than both Cazoo and Cinch, with plans to introduce even more new and used cars to our growing collection.

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