Before you step into a car dealership, you might have a few preconceived ideas about what you might experience. After all, you want to get the best deal out there. But with a few simple tricks up your sleeve, you can turn the tide and bag yourself a bargain.
While the idea of haggling might bring you out in a cold sweat, it’s entirely acceptable at the dealership. From doing your homework ahead of time to checking out the vehicle’s mileage are all excellent places to start.
Here are 7 tips for grabbing a bargain at the dealership to sweeten the deal:
Do your homework first
While the idea of skipping down to your local dealer and finding your next set of wheels on the day may sound like you’ve hit the jackpot, the best deals are usually found when people take the time to do a spot of research first.
Make sure you check out:
- The manufacturer or big name dealership websites to find out the average cost of the model you’re interested in
- Use comparison sites online
From there, you can decide what specs you need, such as engine size and cabin space, to get the model you want for a discounted price.
Compare car finance deals ahead of time
Yes, dealerships do offer car finance. However, unlike other providers, they will be less interested in tailoring the deal to suit your needs as, ultimately, they will want to make a sale.
Fortunately, you can compare car finance deals ahead of time before you even step foot on the forecourt. No matter if you are planning on buying a brand new car or want a decent secondhand vehicle, there are plenty of affordable finance options available.
Simply use a comparison site online to find out which type of finance works best for you: Personal Loan, Hire Lease (HP), Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), or Lease Purchase. Then the lender will pay the dealership on your behalf, so you don’t have to, and then all you have to do is pay back your loan with low fixed monthly instalments.
Even if you have struggled to get accepted for finance before, there are a range of poor credit car finance lenders who specialise in getting the best deals for those who are self-employed, have a default or CCJ or have faced bankruptcy and more.
Don’t appear over eager!
Dealers love an over-eager customer. Typically, they are easier to sell to and can be tricked by lines such as “there’s loads of interest in this one, you need to grab it whilst it’s still here!” And yet, unless there’s a crowd viewing the car with you, it’s a standard throwaway comment designed to lure you into buying!
Instead, remain calm and take your time.
Viewing multiple vehicles allows you to make comparisons between each model and figure out which one is the right one for you.
If your opening line to a salesperson is “what’s your best price?” then all they have to do is the point at the price on the sticker. Instead, be upfront about what you want. If you have a make or model in mind, tell them. If you have a price in mind, and how much you can reasonably spend – tell them!
While it’s always good to haggle, cars that have been on the forecourt for a while are usually already discounted, so there will be little margin-left. You should also ask yourself why they are still there!
Check out the mileage
High mileage is a great way to get the price down. If you spot two examples of the same model with different dealers at a similar price, use the mileage factor to leverage the price down in your favor.
It’s all about timing
One of the best ways to bag a bargain is to visit the dealership at the end of the sale quarter, as they will be doing their best to hit targets. If that means selling a vehicle at a loss to hit a bigger target for a bigger income, they’ll be more willing to do it.
Then you need to consider seasonal car trends. Unsurprisingly, certain types of cars are more popular at certain times of the year, for example:
- SUV sales go up in the winter, as buyers are thinking more about big, safe motors to cope with all weathers
- Convertibles tend to have stronger sales during the spring and summer months
Typically, prices for these vehicles are at their highest when they are most in demand. So if you want a cheaper deal, it’s best to wait until they are less popular, i.e. buy an SUV in the summer or your convertible in the winter.
However, you might not want a niche type of vehicle! If that’s the case, make the most of the festive season. With all the winter distractions and customers spending their money elsewhere, car dealerships tend to be at their quietest. During this time, dealers will want to grab any sales they can during the offseason, so pop on down between mid-November and mid-January to score a bargain.
Look to the future
While we’re all bombarded with next-gen electric or hybrid car ads, there are plenty of used examples flying around. What’s more, you can get some of the best electric vehicles (EVs) around for peanuts, purely as they are still an unknown quantity for many motorists.
Prices may be pushed down even further as some EVs will come with a battery lease. So you would need to pay a monthly fee to lease the battery directly from the manufacturer. However, this isn’t a bad thing as most car makers offer a guaranteed battery replacement for added peace of mind.
So if you want to futureproof your purchase with an EV, do your bit for the environment and save yourself some cash on general running costs and fuel, go and check out the used EV market.
Are you ready to grab yourself a bargain at the dealership? Armed with these simple tricks and a bit of knowledge, you will save yourself a small fortune.