How to negotiate the best price at a car dealership

Shopping for a new car can be as exciting as it is terrifying. Leaving the dealership with the perfect vehicle is a fantastic feeling, and yet you don’t want to be taken for a ride with how much you pay. By slashing the price of your vehicle by a few thousand dollars you’ll save even more over the course of your car loan.

Not sure how to get the best price at a car dealership? Here’s what you need to know and how you need to go about buying a vehicle. 

Timing Is Everything

First, you will want to go shopping at the end of the month. Most dealerships in Canada offer incentives to the sales staff, so a sales person who is close to meeting their quota for the month will be more likely to undercut some prices in order to sell you a vehicle. This means if the sales staff member you’re dealing with needs to sell just one more vehicle by the end of the month to reach their bonus, you will be able to press them further for a better price. Be polite and respectful, but understand you have some leverage.

Beyond the time of the month, the time of the year is important as well. Many sales associates try to reach a certain sales number by the end of the year as well as monthly numbers, so you might be able to secure even better prices in December. Plus, when a dealership sells a vehicle by the end of the year they won’t be forced to pay taxes on the vehicle that is sitting on the lot. This can help you land a fantastic deal on your own new purchase. 

End Of The Day

Go to the dealership toward the end of the day. Don’t go in the morning. Sure, you’re excited to buy a new vehicle and you want to get it over with, but it means the sales staff has all day to wear you down. Instead, if you show up closer to the end of the day timing is now your friend. The sales staff will not want to miss out on the commission because the dealership is closing, so they will be more inclined to offer you price cuts and discounts. 

Compare Prices & Auto Financing

Talk with the dealership and have them give you an offer. Now, take that offer and go to another dealership and see if they can beat that. If they can, take this price back to the original dealership. Competition is good for you and you should pit the different dealers against each other. It will require a bit more time on your part, but by doing this you may be able to slash thousands of dollars off the purchase price. This is also key for getting the best vehicle financing available as well.

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Go With Last Year's Model

If you’re alright with getting a new vehicle that is now technically a model year older, go with the previous year’s model that is still on the lot. Typically, dealerships will begin releasing the new model year sometime in the summer (depending on the release schedule set up by the manufacturer). This means that a 2021 model will often hit a dealership in the summer of 2020. However, the dealership will still want to sell the previous model year to make room for the newer model.

The longer you can hold out the better price you’ll land on the new model. For example, if you go in during the summer right after the new model year came out, the previous model won’t be significantly discounted. However, if you want six or eight months the stock will be limited, but the dealership will be searching for ways to sell the remaining stock of last year’s model (another reason why buying in December is the best way to go). 

Do Your Vehicle Research

Know the MSRP of a particular vehicle and trim package before stepping foot on the dealership. Don’t ever go in blind. Going in blind and assuming the price listed on a vehicle’s windshield is accurate is a recipe to over paying.

Instead, if you want to land a quality price for your vehicle you need to know what the MSRP is and how different trim packages and add ons affect the price of the vehicle. This way, you won’t be taken for over paying on your vehicle. 

Land the Best Price For Your New Car

It doesn’t matter where you live or what kind of vehicle you’re shopping for. Follow these tips for car price negotiating and you will greatly improve your ability to land a solid price for the vehicle you want.

It might require you to wait a few months or to go with a slightly different trim package, but it could save you a significant amount of money. Patience and research are key to getting the model/make you want with the auto loan payments you deserve.

Get the payments you want for the car you’ll love. >>


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