‘I’m here to buy a car, not wash your windows.’ Haggling over the price of a new car can result in you saying some of the strangest things, as I learnt when I helped a Which? member buy an Audi recently.
So when I agreed to write an article about helping Sue (pictured) buy a car, bartering with a salesperson was inevitable. But it was also quite interesting, so I wanted to share a few pointers from my experience of negotiating with a car salesman.
Haggling: tactics the salesman used
Know the price the car is listed at: After giving details of the exact engine, transmission and spec of the car we wanted to buy, the salesman initially offered us the list price (the full retail price quoted for that model). Laugh off the suggestion of paying full price for a new car – you’re there to do a deal.
Don’t be fazed by time on your own: In an hour-long negotiation process, Sue and I spent almost half the time unattended. Our salesman twice left us to ‘speak to a manager’ and another time to inspect the car we wanted to trade in. This is a tactic to make you sweat, but keep calm and composed.
Don’t fall foul of showroom speak: When the manager of the dealership took control of negotiations he said: ‘You always pay more from a dealer, as we offer a personalised service and we have a showroom to upkeep’. Remember, you want a car for the best price; you’re not there to cover the cost of polishing their floors or cleaning their windows.
Don’t pay for anything you don’t want and didn’t ask for: Each time a new price was quoted to us it included a £500 GAP Insurance and Paint Protection pack, which wasn’t requested or described to us in any detail. You do not have to pay for additions like these, so make sure you question everything they include in the price.
Haggling: tactics I used
Be armed with broker prices: I scoured a number of online brokers for the best price on the exact car we wanted, printed out the deal and took it with me. Say: ‘If you can’t match their price, I’ll just buy through them.’ The dealer bettered the broker price, by £1.
Get a trade-in value for your car: We took the car to the dealer Sue bought it from and asked what they’d offer as a trade in. We wanted the Audi dealer to match this, which they almost did.
So, how much have you saved on a new car by haggling? Have you got any tips to share with the Which? Convo community?