How To Get The Best Price On A Car

How to Get the Best Price on a Car

Why is it vital to understand how to get the best price on a car? Because buying a new or used car is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. Knowing how to get the best price in a car could help you save on the cost of your new purchase.

Most buyers walk into car dealerships without having an idea of how to get the best price on a car. Salespeople sometimes convince them to pay the list price when customers could, in fact, pay a lower amount. As a result, you may find that people end up paying different amounts for the same car.

How is it possible for some to pay less than others, you may ask? Those paying less have the advantage of knowing where to start negotiations, and you can as well. By employing the information detailed below, you too can get a good deal and make smarter choices when buying a car.

Determine if there is room for negotiation

When planning how to get the best price on a car, the last thing you want to do is walk into a car dealership without a game plan.

First, figure out what type of car you want to buy. You can do so by consulting manufacturer’s websites, third-party listings, and car dealerships nearby. Once you have a make and model in mind, you can move on to the next step.

Negotiating the way to get the best price on a car, but you cannot begin discussing the price if you do not have a starting point. The starting point for negotiation is the dealer invoice price.

The dealer invoice price is the amount the car dealer pays the manufacturer for the car. For the dealer to profit on the sale, they often consult the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) when pricing the vehicle.

You may come across this term often while trying to find out how to get the best price on a car. It might also be referred to as the list price.

The difference in cost between the MSRP and the dealer invoice price is essentially your negotiation room. Once you have determined the price, deduct any manufacturer incentives you are aware of. Knowing the value of the difference between the two will help you to start discussing price options with a dealer.

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Negotiate on the total vehicle price

While we are on the topic of negotiation, there is another guideline to keep in mind when considering how to get the best price on a car. Whether you are leasing or financing, negotiate for the vehicle’s total value and not the monthly payment.

The reason negotiating for the monthly payment will not work in your favour is because, in the long run, you could end up paying more than what the car is worth.

Car dealers may direct your attention to the monthly installments to entice you into making the purchase. Low monthly payments mean you will have a longer loan period and will have to pay more interest over time.

You can avoid this financial trap by remaining focused on the total price, which should include all fees and taxes.

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Choose the right time to buy

There are periods during which vehicles are on sale. These periods are worth noting if you want to discover how to get the best price on a car.

You may have noticed that retailers have clearance sales at certain times of the year to move old stock. 

Car dealerships do the same in August, September, and November to make room for new inventory arriving in the coming months. These are, therefore, the best months to buy a car that has gone out of season.

You can expect sales on special holidays such as Black Friday and at the end of the month. Car dealers will also likely be willing to reduce their prices on vehicles when sales are low at the end of the year.

Another ideal time is when certain types of cars are not in demand. Dealerships are aware that customers rarely buy convertibles during winter. Therefore, any remaining stock from the summer will be on sale. If you have dreamed of owning a convertible, purchase one in the off-season.

Pay attention to these times, and you could save thousands on the purchase of your vehicle.

Make sure you do all your research and your test drive before these favourable times come around. If you do so, you can make an offer, negotiate, and leave with your car the same day.

So, you have learned how to get the best price on a car by choosing the right time to buy. Here are a few other ways you could end up with your dream car at a good price.

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Improve your car’s trade-in value

Trading in your current vehicle will reduce the total amount you owe on the new car. Improving the trade-in value of your current car is an important step when figuring out how to get the best price on a car. 

Make sure you clean and touch up the interior and exterior of your car before heading to a car dealership. You do not want to give the dealer a reason to offer you a low trade-in value.

Once you have spruced up your vehicle, it is time to determine its value. You can get a rough estimate by checking out local classified ads and dealerships for similar models. Finding out your vehicle’s trade-in value is part and parcel of how to get the best price on a car.

How to get the best price on a car when buying second-hand

Buying a used car requires some different considerations if you want to get the best possible price.

As with a new car, you should start by doing some research. Looking at the selling price of vehicles similar to the one you want will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

After you know what that make and model sells for, determine the price range you are willing to pay for that vehicle given your budget. Having a price range in mind will help you during the negotiation process.

It is also wise to consider getting a report of the vehicle history directly from the dealership. A vehicle history report will give you details regarding any past vehicle damage, as well as the ownership history of the car. It will also verify the mileage of the vehicle.

You could even get an independent, licensed mechanic to inspect the vehicle on your behalf. If you find any discrepancies, you could have some more room to negotiate.

Be prepared for rejections and manage your expectations. Negotiating may not always work in your favour. Stick to your budget when determining how to get the best price on a car. Also, make sure to ask relevant questions about the car’s condition.

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Be cautious when negotiating with salespeople

While you may understand how to get the best price on a car, you may not have had much experience in dealing with car salespeople.

It can be easy to fall into a trap if you head into a negotiation unprepared. Salespeople generally have one objective in mind: to close the deal. A salesperson will likely not concern themselves with whether you have exceeded your budget.

You should avoid giving the salesperson the impression that you have a lot of money to spend. If they catch a hint of this, they could drive a hard bargain and may not settle for a low price.

Remember that you are there to buy a car and not to make a friend. As chummy as the salesperson may be with you, maintain an appropriate level of professionalism and pleasantness.

Ensure that you know what you are talking about by discussing the research you have done. Any hint of uncertainty could impact the negotiation in their favour.

Furthermore, be wary of any additional last-minute costs the salesperson may introduce. Some charges are necessary, such as standard warranties and taxes. While others, such as extended warranties and rust protection, are not.

Negotiate based on the essential costs and make sure the salesperson does not unnecessarily inflate the overall price.

Remember that salespeople know how to close deals. It is their job to make a profit on a sale to meet their quotas. Bearing this in mind will be helpful when exploring how to get the best price on a car.

Lastly, know when to walk away. If the salesperson states a different price from what they quoted, or they do not reasonably match your offer, then you do not have to stick around. It is your money, and you have the power to choose where to spend it.

What we have learned

When the time comes to buy a new or used vehicle, make use of everything you have learned about how to get the best price on a car. Conduct a thorough investigation to determine the dealer invoice price for a new vehicle and obtain a vehicle history report for a used car. 

Doing your research is the best place to start, and it will help you during the negotiation process. By considering manufacturer incentives, your car’s trade-in value, and the best time to buy a car, you could walk away with a great deal.

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FAQs about How To Get Best Car Prices

Is it important to understand car prices?

Yes. Most people think they have an idea of how to get the best car price but in reality, salespeople have the skill to convince them to pay more. Therefore, it's important to know the best car prices as it could help you save a lot of money.

Can I negotiate prices when buying a car?

Yes. It's important that you plan ahead and think how you can negotiate a price. Once you do, try and discuss price options with your dealer.

How exactly do I negotiate a car price?

It's simple, you just have to make sure you have a plan first. Figure out the right car for you and research different websites so you can have an idea. When it comes to the day of negotiation, make sure you negotiate for the car's total value not what you'll be paying monthly.

When is the right time to buy a car?

The best time would be during sale period and months where they refresh their car inventories. An example would be Black Friday as car dealers will most likely reduce the prices on cars.

How do I get the best price for a second-hand car?

Always stick with the price range you have in mind so that it can help you negotiate with the dealer. Also remember not to feel intimidated by sales professionals as they have the skill to convince you.


October 12, 2022
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