Help with tactics for negotiating with car dealer

Hi all,

I am looking to buy a 2nd hand car (2004 Subaru Outback) and am a bit
hesitant in the best approach when negotiating the price with the dealer.

The advertised price is $25,990 but I expect the price I pay to be less than this.

Has anyone got any tips or methods for helping ensure I get the best price ?

Thanks
Neil
 
When I bought my car I had a budget of $15k - already researched makes, models and price range, knew what I was going to get. My car was advertised for $19,995.

So we had one of those blocking conversations. I stuck at $15k and the dealer kept going lower until he did the cliched ask the manager and yeah, $15k.

The chap I was shopping with said he'd never seen someone get a discount just by being stubborn.
 
Hunt down as many 2004 Subaru Outbacks that you can and find the best deal.

Surely the one you saw advertised is not the only one you could find.

Widen your search by considering interstate car auctions too.

In other words do as the dealer does :eek:.
 
Has anyone got any tips or methods for helping ensure I get the best price ?

Hire a Motor Vehicle Buyer's Agent :D

Hey, people do it for property and these guys do it for cars. I am pretty sure (??) that they charge the dealership for their fees though, not you.
 
Checkout the big guy's carsales, drive and carpoint for comparisons.
From memory The sub's are not all that fuel efficient.
 
Hi all,

I am looking to buy a 2nd hand car (2004 Subaru Outback) and am a bit
hesitant in the best approach when negotiating the price with the dealer.

The advertised price is $25,990 but I expect the price I pay to be less than this.

Has anyone got any tips or methods for helping ensure I get the best price ?

Thanks
Neil

If you need to ask this question - you should ask an experienced friend or family member to do the deal for you. In my experience most Australians are terrible at negotiation so you are not alone. Or go through an agent as suggested.
 
Don't buy from a dealer!

Look at private ads first.

You will find better value there.

Dealer are experts at charging as much as they can get away with, and their 'guarantee' isn't worth that much. You can get a mechanic or the nrma to do a tech inspection of the car if you want.

Cheers,
 
If you are really sure that you want that car after inspecting it etc, why not submit an offer via sms, after you leave the car yard. Maybe a few counter offers will go back and forth till you come to a price (or not).

At least i takes away that face to face pressure and sales tactic element.
 
Thanks for all the sggestions


I think redbook only gives suggested private selling price and trade-in price guides, not a trade selling price.

Hunt down as many 2004 Subaru Outbacks that you can and find the best deal.

Surely the one you saw advertised is not the only one you could find.

Widen your search by considering interstate car auctions too.

In other words do as the dealer does :eek:.

No, it isn't the only one, and I have widened my search, but I like the convenience and simplicity of buying reasonably locally.

When I bought my car I had a budget of $15k - already researched makes, models and price range, knew what I was going to get. My car was advertised for $19,995.

So we had one of those blocking conversations. I stuck at $15k and the dealer kept going lower until he did the cliched ask the manager and yeah, $15k.

The chap I was shopping with said he'd never seen someone get a discount just by being stubborn.

That's a good idea, I can do stubborn :p

Hire a Motor Vehicle Buyer's Agent :D

Hey, people do it for property and these guys do it for cars. I am pretty sure (??) that they charge the dealership for their fees though, not you.

Cheers Alan, should have guessed your line of thinking :D

Checkout the big guy's carsales, drive and carpoint for comparisons.
From memory The sub's are not all that fuel efficient.

For an all wheel drive they aren't too bad, but yes, less fuel efficient than many others.

Don't buy from a dealer!

Look at private ads first.

You will find better value there.

Dealer are experts at charging as much as they can get away with, and their 'guarantee' isn't worth that much. You can get a mechanic or the nrma to do a tech inspection of the car if you want.

Cheers,

True. I have a car to trade in, although perhaps I should look at selling that privately too. I have thought about this route, and again, I guess I am being lazy by taking the "trade-in ad buy through a dealer" route.

If you are really sure that you want that car after inspecting it etc, why not submit an offer via sms, after you leave the car yard. Maybe a few counter offers will go back and forth till you come to a price (or not).

At least i takes away that face to face pressure and sales tactic element.

Thanks - that's another really good idea.

Thanks all.

Neil
 
Just don't act too interested in the car - don't let emotions get in the way.

We were keen on a PT Cruiser (yep, ugly looking thing - I've been told it looks like a toaster on wheels).

We knew one of the local car dealers had one - he wanted $17k and we had a budget of $13k.

We walked passed the yard, gave a slight look of interest at their stock. The spruiker in a cowboy hat and gold ring on each finger came over - "what can I help you with mate - are you looking for an auto/manual." I looked at the PT Cruiser, asked him "what kind of car is this? It's the ugliest thing I've ever seen." After playing dumb and bagging on the car for 20 minutes, we took it for a test drive - fell in love with it.

We came back - said we weren't interested, it was too expensive and not what we were looking for in a car. Out of nowhere we put in an offer of $13k, he scoffed it at it, asked us to increase the offer. We were stubborn, he was desperate (middle of the GFC) and we finally shook on the $13k.
 
Yep. Most car dealers (not all - and I know some good ones) only know how to make a sale by dropping the price :eek:

I have really wanted a car in past instances. But I do the straight poker face, bored look reasonably well I think, (well enough to fool most car sales people). So we talk numbers and then I walk away to 'think about it', 'discuss with wife', 'look at one other', whatever it takes to get away (which can be very difficult as anybody that has been into a dealership knows).

Tell them you need to make a decision by Monday (pick any day). They will call Monday (you bet they will!!). Tell them you are still waiting to hear about finance, other car, wife has a friend with one and you want to hear from her - whatever you like - just delay, delay, delay. Every day your phone will ring and the price will get better (for you). Every day you will still be very interested but their will be some reason why you cannot make a decision that particular day.

You'll know when you've reached their limit :).......and it won't be the 2nd or 3rd day that they call. NEVER call them back..........NEVER EVER. Always let them call you (and they will). Whoever talks first loses.:p

I just did this over a 2 week period playing one dealer off against another until every last ounce of their profit margin was gone and they were just glad to get me off their 'call list' for the day :) and probably glad to stop having to fax me a new quote with some other option added or removed. (after a few days you have to come up with other delaying tactics).

All the best with it.;)
 
Buy at the end of the month when the salesmen are eager to meet their targets for the month. If they are a bit short, they will discount more to get the deal.

And be prepared to literally walk out of the car yard, especially if there is another one next door.
 
Bottom line is that you will pay for the ease of using a dealer.

My recent used commodore purchase illustrates this.

Auctions had them for sale on the floor at $12-13K, I didn't attend any actual auctions but would have if I had the time.

Dealers were selling same car for $16-18K

I bought mine from the paper for $10,500 with low km and a good history. The guy wouldn't negotiate on his price as he knew the value and I knew he did, and he knew I knew etc. Was a good guy and a good deal.

So had I been lazy I would have paid an extra $6K in after tax dollars. Work that out on your weekly take home pay and see what being lazy costs!

You can get your mechanic or the NRMA to do a decent check of a car and that should be money well spent for the average non mechanical person.

Best of luck, and have fun!
 
my latest purchase (1 month ago) was a private sale and come through with a good deal.

2005 Mitsubishi Triton with 50000 km - most advertised for $24K+, I picked mine up for $15500 as the bloke needed a really quick sale and I was able to act quickly on it
 
i done both in my family dealers and private

we were lucky with one private sale that he had been a mechanic and the car was in an immaculate condition.

over 160 ks cars tend to break down so good to get one with very low mileage.

always get racv to check cars out or a garage. tell them if they see something major wrong to stop the process so you will be charged less.

and never pay cash so you can have proof of purchase with private sales.

yes never act to interested,
be prepared to walk away
dress well as they treat those better than a rich person dressed too casually.
dr phil has had some good shows about this possibly oprah so if you google you should get some good hints.

you also get hints if you good or maybe on some sites of lists of things to look at yourself.

sometimes they are hiding huge damage in a car that looks spotless and perfect on the outside. we had such a shonk try to sell us a car but becasue we insisted on garage inspections or racv inspections we were saved.

even from dealers the price can vary so much.
i got a car for 14000 and my daughter got the same car but much newer and nicer for the same price a few years later! from the same dealer! maybe she was lucky to be in the right play right time . none of us were smart enough to bargain.

francine
 
I've bought a few cars over the years, mostly new from dealers.

There are 2 steps here:
1) Work out which car you want and if it's mechanically OK; and
2) Negotiate the price.

In terms of (1), having someone who knows about cars (NRMA are good) really helps. Having warranty on the car is good too, but factory warranty is really the only warranty that's really worth anything.

For (2), I generally use the direct approach: "I'm happy to buy this car today, but the price needs to be right". Each time I'm asked a question (eg cash or finance, trade or no trade, etc), I simply respond with "which option makes it easier for you to give e a better price"? I never buy dealer options such as paint protection, tinting, upspec wheels, etc, as these are heavily loaded with dealer profit. Also, I will often ask "do you have anything similar to this car in the warehouse that you need to get rid of"?

If you are happy with more than one colour, can consider more than one spec level, and can take a vehicle that's been in the warehouse a while, you can get a very substantial discount. I got about 20% off my V8 when new, back in 2003, because it was in the warehouse, and was a colour/engine combination that wasn't popular (ie boring colour, no bodykit, V8 engine that older folk didn't want). (I still have this car, and still love it!)

To make this work, you need to know what local dealers are buying and selling these cars for. Do your research, and ask car-loving friends. Like buying property, don't let emotion come into it.
 
over 160 ks cars tend to break down so good to get one with very low mileage.
Now you tell me! Mine is at 210000 :eek:

Our next car we are thinking of going to the ex-government auctions with a strict budget and just trying until we get what we want for the right price. They tend to sell off fleet cars quite new. As long as you remember there's plenty more virtually identical cars out there and don't get into a bidding war on any individual car, auctions should be good. The plan is to go to a few first with no intent to buy just to see how they work. No rush.
 
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