August 2021

How To Negotiate When Buying Second-Hand Cars

Buying second-hand cars is the savvy move when purchasing a vehicle. Some skillful negotiation can help you get the best possible price. We’ve compiled some negotiation best practices to help you along the way with this.

Typical Cost When Buying Second-Hand Cars

Before walking into your chosen used car dealership, do some research into what you want to buy. Know the average or list price of your desired model. Check the price on the manufacturer's website as well as with multiple sellers and dealerships.

Desired Specifications

It's important to remember that you’re negotiating the price of the model, not the model and specifications themselves. Know what specification you require and stick to it.

Vehicle Condition

Buying second-hand cars means that there will be wear and tear. Look for dents or chips, technical faults, and worn-down tyres. These are fine, for the most part, but if anything sticks out, be sure to bring it up with your dealer. Look at the service history (or maintenance records if buying privately). Always test-drive the vehicle and check the mileage. Higher mileage always makes for a lower price.

Trade-In Value And Budget

If you have an old car you’re trading-in or selling, know how much you should be getting for it. The more you get, the less bargaining you’ll need to make when buying your second-hand car. Also, be aware of your maximum budget, but don’t tell the dealership what it is. Offer less than your maximum budget so that you have room to haggle.

Asking For A Discount

When asking for a discount don’t say “Can I get a discount?”, rather phrase it as “What discount can you give me?”. If the salesperson seems reluctant, mention that you’ll be happy to close the deal if you get a good price. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. 

Cash Buyer

When buying a second-hand car with cash, don’t tell the dealer until the end of the discussions. Dealerships may negotiate more if they think they’re also selling you a finance deal. Once you’ve negotiated to your desired price, let them know you won’t need finance.

Know When To Walk Away

When negotiating the price of a vehicle, you’ll need to be patient and persistent. Don’t walk away because you haven’t got your desired price right away. 

With these tips in mind, you’ll be an expert in buying second-hand cars. Speak to us about your next dream car.