How to Get a Good Deal on a Car at a Dealership

How to Get a Good Deal on a Car at a Dealership

Updated on May 3, 2021

Are you in the market for a vehicle? Whether you decide to go the new or used route, buying a car can be a stressful endeavor if you don’t do your homework and think about a negotiation strategy ahead of time.

Check out these tips for getting the best possible deal on your new car.

Tips for Negotiating a New Car Price You Can Afford

The secret to getting a good deal is shopping around. Reaching out to multiple dealerships allows you to determine which one is offering the best price and perks to give you leverage to negotiate. If you’re able to provide proof of a better offer elsewhere, you may see the price come down.

You should go into negotiations with two numbers in mind: the price you can pay and the price you’d prefer to pay. If the dealership can’t hit either one, consider going elsewhere. Here are a few other tips to consider:

  • Move on if a salesperson makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Take your time at the dealership, and don’t let the staff rush you into making a decision.
  • Prepare ahead of time by knowing how much a vehicle is truly worth, and don’t be afraid to ask for dealer perks or add-ons in return for your business.

You can also consider making the loan fit more comfortably into your budget by increasing your term, which is common. This will lower your monthly payments and give you more wiggle room for emergencies. Keep in mind, though, that by extending the term, you’ll be paying additional money in interest. If you want to pay the loan off in less time, you can always pay more toward the loan principal if you have extra money and your lender allows it. PSECU allows members to make prepayments without penalty.

When Are the Best Times and Seasons to Shop?

Going to the dealership during daytime hours on a weekday may help you secure a better deal because fewer people will be there, giving you the undivided attention of your salesperson. You’ll also find the best deals at the end of the sales year, when dealerships want to clear their lots to make room for new inventory.

How Much Off the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) Can I Negotiate?

The answer to this question depends on the cost of the car you’re looking at, as well as the individual dealership’s policies. The MSRP is what the dealer wants you to pay, but you should be able to negotiate a lower price. Be sure to look at the car’s true market value for a better idea of what it’s worth.

Can I Negotiate the Price of a Used Car at a Dealership?

Yes, you can negotiate price on both used and new cars. Do your research ahead of time so you know what the makes and models you’re interested in are worth. When you’ve found a contender, look at the vehicle’s history, too, and remember that more expensive cars will often cost more to maintain and repair. This applies to both used and new cars and should play into your decision on what to buy.

Learn More About Our Low-Rate Vehicle Loans

Whether you’re shopping for a new or used car, having solid financing in place can help you get a good deal. Ready to get started? Contact us for more information on our low-rate vehicle loans, and check out more money management tips and other helpful resources.

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.