4 Criteria to Consider Negotiating When Car-Buying

4 Criteria to Consider Negotiating When Car-Buying

When it’s time to buy a new vehicle, you may have a little bit of stage fright when it comes to negotiating a price. And while sometimes the best offer is the one presented on the price tag, there may be some wiggle room if you know what criteria to consider.

Here are a few areas in which some of that negotiation wiggle room may exist.

The sticker price

While a trusted car dealer may cut you the best deal from the jump, every lot’s policies are a little bit different. So it’s a good plan to come to the table with knowledge of the make and model in question. What does the market say this vehicle is worth? What have other people in your region paid for similar vehicles? If you can provide verifiable examples of similar outfits at more affordable prices, you may be in a position to negotiate final price.

The trade-in value

Unless you’re purchasing your first vehicle or are replacing an automobile that was totaled, odds are you’re offering up a trade-in. The dealer-ascertained value of said vehicle may or may not be what you had in mind—and this trade-in value can have a big impact on your down-payment and, in turn, your buying power. Consider having your car looked at prior to hitting the lot to get a sense of what it’s worth and—even more importantly—why. Be ready to present this info if the determined value is less than what you anticipated.

The model demand

Similarly to negotiating a home purchase, a salesperson might be more motivated to sell a vehicle that has spent a great deal of time on the lot. Research your options before you visit the lot so you know if there are any desirable vehicles that have been for sale for a month or more. And consider investigating other lots in the area and whether they also have a low demand for this particular model. This data could be useful to you at the negotiating table when trying to strike a better deal for yourself.

The timeline

One common misconception about car-buying is that you need to move quickly. Oftentimes sellers will be motivated to close the deal as quickly and advantageously as possible. But, particularly if a vehicle has been on the market for more than a week or two, this urgency is often not necessary. If you feel like you’ve reached a stalemate on negotiations and you’re still not certain you’re comfortable with the asking price, give yourself permission to walk away and sleep on it. You may realize the price is doable when comparing it to other offers—or the seller may reach out to motivate a close by offering additional incentive.

Speaking of timelines, the time of year or time of week in which you go vehicle shopping can impact your deal-making ability. Some studies have shown that hitting the lot during the week versus on the weekend can improve your chances of striking a deal, as there is likely less foot traffic at the dealerships. In the same vein, hitting up car lots in the final few months of the year can be a good time to take advantage of quotas that dealers are required to meet by the ownership team. A deadline or quota might make them more likely to relent in negotations.

The beauty of an auto loan from Sioux Falls Fed is that you have options—whether you’re considering a traditional vehicle loan, are financing a recreational automobile or are on the hunt for a sensible alternative lease loan, we’ve got you. Let’s talk.