car buy

How To Negotiate A Car Sale to Get The Best Deal

Unless you work in sales or high-level diplomacy, you probably don’t feel like you do a lot of negotiating in your life. After all, for most purchases, the price is set by the seller, and nothing you can say will change that. However, when it comes to used cars, that’s not the case at all. Knowing how to negotiate a car sale is important when buying a used car, and if you don’t negotiate, you’ll probably end up paying more than you have to.

Negotiating may be scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Going in prepared is a great way to do better in any negotiation for a used car. Use our free VIN checker to get a full and detailed report of a vehicle’s history, and you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate the best price.

Ultimately, life is full of negotiation, so you’re probably better at it than you think you are. Here are a few tips on how to negotiate a car sale that can help you pay less for your next vehicle.





Research The Car’s Value

The best tip for negotiating the price of a used car takes place before you even speak to the seller. The more you know about the car you’re interested in, the better an idea you will have of its true value.

The first step is to consider what kind of car you want. Ask friends and colleagues how they feel about their cars, and think carefully about what you need the car to do. Then, research makes and models, paying attention to online reviews, to determine what the best kind of car for you is. You may be able to narrow your selection down to a few different makes and models with similar characteristics, or even zero in on a single model that you really want.

Remember that all cars have issues, and often, certain issues are common to particular models of car. Toyotas, for instance, though generally considered reliable, are famous for developing rust around the wheel wells. When you know what those issues are, you can check for them on any car you’re thinking of buying, helping you get a better idea of the true value.

The Kelly blue book is an invaluable resource for knowing how much a particular make and model of car is worth based on its mileage. However, this only gives you a baseline. Once you start looking at individual cars, you’ll also need to factor in the car’s cosmetic condition, any mechanical issues, its ownership history, and a number of other factors.

This is where a detailed vehicle history report can be so useful. Our VIN checker tool can give you a detailed report on the history of any specific car so you can learn more about its ownership history, any safety recalls, any accidents it’s been in, and any odometer rollbacks. This can give you a ton of information that can help make sure you don’t pay too much.

Know Your Budget And Stick To It

As you research the type of car you interested in, you’ll get a good idea of what that particular car normally sells for. Check out prices on, Kijiji, and other websites that sell used cars. Pay attention to the mileage, as this can often be the single biggest determinant of the price of a used car.

It’s important to be realistic in your budget. We all want to pay as little as possible, but remember that the seller has to get something out of the deal too.

Ultimately, whether you’re buying cash or looking for a finance deal, only you know what you can afford to pay for your car. Your budget will also help you determine what kind of car you can get. But once you’ve settled on a budget that works for you, stick to them. It’s a seller’s job to try and get you to pay more than you want, and it’s up to you to stay firm so you don’t overspend.

Be Flexible On The Timing And Terms Of The Deal

This is especially true if you’re buying a used car with financing. Financing deals can be complicated, with lots of different terms attached. Remember not to fixate on the monthly payment. A $20,000 car and a $30,000 car can easily have the same monthly payment, but you’ll take much longer to pay off the more expensive car and therefore spend a lot more not only on the price of the car, but also on any interest.

Remember that often, car dealers make more money on the financing deals than they do on the car themselves. For that reason, they may be more willing to come down on the price of the vehicle if you’re planning to take a financing deal. However, it’s a good strategy not to let the seller know whether you intend to finance the car on art. Insist on getting a firm price for the vehicle before you tell them how you intend to pay.

Being flexible on the timing and terms of the deal can help you reach your price more easily. Sellers who offer financing often have strong incentives to get the deal done, so if you can play around with the terms, you may be able to get a better price.

Don’t forget to carefully read the terms of any finance deal you agree to. It’s also a good idea to stay flexible regarding where you get your financing. Before talking to a car seller, talk to your bank and see if they can offer you an auto loan. Sometimes, these rates can be better than what you’ll get at the dealer, allowing you to buy in cash and then pay the bank off later.

Don’t Show Too Much Interest Or Enthusiasm

It’s the mind games that most people dread when it comes to negotiating for a used car. Unfortunately, to a certain extent, they are unavoidable. You’re not bargaining for world peace here, but at the same time, there are a few simple tricks you ought to be aware of.

First among these is not being too eager. If a seller suspects you have fallen in love with the car, they will be less willing to lower the price. Even if you are impressed with the deal, try not to show it. Always act as though you’re not completely convinced.

Another important tactic is to make sure that the seller doesn’t know how badly you need the car. Don’t tell them you can’t get to work tomorrow without it, for example, or they’ll never lower the price.

How To Negotiate A Car Sale

Insist On An Inspection

A comprehensive prepurchase mechanical inspection of the car is a great way to learn about any issues the car may have or is likely to develop. It can also be a fantastic negotiation tool. If the car needs expensive repairs, you can make sure that the cost of that is reflected in the price of the car. Prepurchase inspections aren’t expensive, and they can easily save you far more than they cost.

The same principle applies to getting a comprehensive vehicle history report. If you know that the car you’re looking at has been in an accident, had lots of owners, or has a poor service history, you can use that to negotiate a lower price.

Consider Negotiating Extras, Such As A Warranty Or Maintenance Plan

There’s more to the value of a used car than just its price. Some cars, such as Certified Preowned Vehicles, come with warranties and even maintenance plans. If you can’t reach an agreement on the price, consider asking for an extended warranty or maintenance plan instead. Often, dealers are more willing to offer these than they are to budge on the price of the vehicle.

Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away From The Negotiation

Your greatest power in any negotiation is your ability to walk away. Remember that car sellers wouldn’t be selling cars if they didn’t want your money more than they want the vehicle. They can act as cool as they want, but deep down, they want to sell you the car.

Knowing a vehicle’s full history, having a good idea what similar vehicles sell for, and being aware of maintenance issues can all provide you with great tools to get the price of the vehicle you’re interested in lowered. But if you can’t come to an agreement over the value of the car, it’s okay to walk away. Remember that around $40 million worth of used car sales take place in Canada every year, so there’s always another car for sale somewhere else.





Negotiating Isn’t Hard

Negotiating for a used car isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think it is. And even though some mind games are involved, at least in terms of things you shouldn’t tell the seller, the real work in any negotiation happens before you ever meet. Thoroughly researching the value of the car you’re interested in is the biggest thing you can do to ensure you get a good price, and you can do that from home in your pajamas.

Make sure to research what similar cars sell for, and use our VIN checker to get a full vehicle history report. Going into any negotiation armed with these facts will make it far easier to get a good price — no head games required.


How much can you negotiate off the price of used car?

There’s no easy answer to this question. It depends on a number of factors, including how badly the seller wants to get rid of the car, the condition of the car, any financing deals you’re interested in, and more. That’s why knowing the fair market price of the vehicle is so important to any negotiation.

However, don’t be afraid to take 15% or more of the price of the vehicle depending on its condition. Remember that the first price you name is only a starting point for negotiation, so as long as you don’t insult the seller, you can always offer more later.

How do you negotiate for a car?

Knowing the car’s fair market value is always the first step to negotiating on the price of the car. Once you know that, you can offer a little less, depending on the condition of the vehicle.

Remember that the point of negotiation isn’t to beat the other person. A good deal is one that everyone walks away from happy. At the same time, you need to make sure you’re paying a fair price and not getting ripped off by a crafty car seller.

How do I determine the fair market value of the used car?

There is no substitute for research when it comes to figuring out the fair market value of a used car. Check out car sales websites and visit multiple dealers to get a better idea of what similar cars cost. Also make sure that you get a detailed vehicle history report on the specific car you’re interested in to give you a better picture of what it’s really worth.