Buying a Car: Top Tips for Dealing With the Dealer

There are a few cardinal rules that apply to your negotiations with a car dealer. Never reveal your full hand because you’ll leave little room to get the deal you want. Always take the approach that you can walk away and go to another dealer. Your willingness to walk will give you the upper hand over the most experienced and cunning dealers. Here are some other ways you can gain the upper hand in your negotiations with a car dealer.

Don’t Go on Emotion

Your emotional attachment to one particular kind of car may cost you in more ways than one. Do some research on the car you want: What are the insurance rates? What is the average cost of the car? What are some other available options? and other consumer websites will help you to find the information you need.

Ignore Attempts To Create Urgency
The quote the salesman gives you today will more than likely be available tomorrow – unless it’s the final day of a special sale. Exercise your right to walk away if you’re feeling pressured to make the sale.

Tap Into The Month End Urgency

You don’t have to wait until the month’s end to get a terrific deal. Most dealerships are motivated to meet their quotas as the month closes – and they’re prepared to do so by any means necessary. Start shopping a few days before the close of the month to take advantage of this urgency.

Don’t Waste Your Time

Don’t waste your time negotiating for a car that’s not in stock. Call up the dealership to make sure they have the car you want. Some dealerships will arrange a trade with another dealer, but the best deals are usually on the cars the dealer has in stock.

A Lower Payment Doesn’t Mean A Lower Price

A salesman who changes the terms of a loan to lower your monthly payments is not doing you any favors. He does this to create a comfortable payment plan for you, but it doesn’t reduce the price of the car or the profit the dealership makes.

The Early Bird Pays More

If you fall for the hype surrounding the release of a new model, you’ll most likely pay more for the car. Dealers build expectancy to increase demand, which allows them to charge retail or more for the new car. Wait a few months before you buy, and you’ll get a better price on the car.

A Call Ahead Saves Time

Call the dealer and schedule a test drive for the car you want to purchase. This will give the dealer time to bring the car out front and ensure that it’s in drive-ready condition.

Dress the Part

Don’t walk into a dealership looking like you have money to burn. Dress in a casual but professional manner – dealers often ignore sloppy visitors. If you’re trading in an old car, drive it to the dealership and leave the Mercedes at home. So if you live in Texas, for instance, visit a Texas service center to learn about making fair trades.

Consumer organizations and insurance companies will help you to secure valid auto cost data. Some services may be free, but others charge a fee. If you’re going to spend thousands on a new car, you might as well spend a few extra dollars to get all the information you need.


Charles Talley is a father or five grown children. Having been at the car dealership more times then he wants to think about, he enjoys sharing what he has learned by blogging online.