Whether you're a seasoned negotiator or a first-time buyer, knowing how to haggle when buying a car can help you secure the best possible purchase price for your next car.

So, in this guide, we're going to delve into the best strategies and tips for the successful haggle, including:

  • Doing your research beforehand
  • Having a fixed budget in mind
  • Keeping your cards close to your chest
  • Not being afraid to walk away

Do your research beforehand

The first lesson in knowing how to haggle when buying a car is making sure you arm yourself with the relevant knowledge before even stepping into the dealership. Drive your haggling success forward with the power of information.

Know the car's market value

Take the time to research the market value of the specific make and model that you're looking at getting. There is a wealth of info online, and bespoke car valuation tools can give you an accurate look at a car's current purchase price, especially if you know the reg number of the car you're looking at buying.

Knowing this market value helps establish a clear baseline for negotiations, and ensures you don't overpay accidentally.

Understand vehicle history

If it's a used car you're looking into, make sure to take a check its vehicle history report and if it's listed on AutoTrader you'll easily be able to see whether it's been listed at a great, good, fair or lower price.


Research the dealer's reputation

The research shouldn't stop with the car. Take some time to learn about the dealership you're interacting with via online reviews and ratings. This will help you gauge their reputation, and a more reputable dealer is likely to be more transparent with you during a deal, and offer better customer service.

Have a fixed budget in mind

It's really important you have a clear and realistic budget for your next car before you step foot into a dealership. By having a budget in mind, you establish a clear line in the sand that you're not willing to cross during negotiations.

If you're unsure of your budget for your next car, consider every aspect of your current financial situation including your monthly income, existing payments, and a potential down payment.

See how much you can comfortably afford over the long and short term, and then use that budget to help prioritise your own needs and wants for your next car. If you know your own non-negotiable features and specs, this focuses your mind on finding the best deal within your own restricted parameters.

Keep your cards close to your chest

This statement is important when it comes to knowing how to haggle when buying a car. It involves maintaining control over the information you reveal to the seller throughout negotiations so that you don't divulge your intentions, budget, or eagerness to buy right away.

Enter the negotiation ring

When it does eventually come to the matter of cost, let the salesperson know the budget you have in mind, this will save time as there's no point them showing you cars that are a long way off your budget. If they do suggest cars you're not comfortable with the costings of, don't be afraid to let them know, there's plenty more cars on the market to work with and their priority should be finding one that suits your needs and budget.

Now you know how to haggle when buying a car

Knowing how to haggle when buying a car is an empowering consumer skill that helps you navigate negotiations with confidence and get a fair deal for everyone involved.

By researching market prices, setting your own budget, and maintaining a friendly, assertive demeanour throughout, you're likely to enjoy more successful haggling experiences and become a skilled negotiator.

Haggling the price of a car in a franchise dealership is likely to be unsuccessful as the cars are priced to reflect approved used benefits, stricter vehicle checks and additional warranty periods.

People looking at a car

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