How To Always Get The Best
Price On A Used Car
(Related: How To Get The Best Price On A "New" Car)
Most people absolutely hate the whole used car buying process ... and understandably so.
The haggling, the mistrust, the hours feeling "worked over" at the dealership, along with just about everything else involved makes this a stressful ordeal for most people, not to mention never really knowing whether you've gotten a good deal or if you could have actually gotten a lower price.
Well, it doesn't have to be this way. I'm going to teach you an incredibly effective method you can do from the comfort and safety of your own home or office.
Not only will you get the best price and eliminate most of the headaches, but many people report feeling very exhilarated when using this process, mostly due to the shift in control and power from the salesperson/dealer to themselves.
And yes, many people report that, much to their amazement, that it was actually fun ... fun to the point where they even look forward to doing it again and regularly help their friends and family members get great deals now as well.
The Key To Car Buying Is Competition:
It's really pretty simple. You see, you can easily save hundreds, but more typically, thousands of dollars off a listed price - and often even buy at wholesale prices - by getting a number of car dealers to compete for your business.
When dealers compete, you'll see just how quickly prices start to drop. You see, you whet the appetites of various dealers by making a few clicks on your computer (more on this in a moment). Then, when they sense a sale starting to slip away, prices start to plummet.
Car dealers also may drastically reduce prices for other reasons combined with the competition. If a car has been sitting on a dealer lot for more than 30 - 45 days, it becomes very expensive to hold on to due to accelerating finance and other carrying costs (many used cars on dealer lots are purchased and financed from local dealer-only car auctions).
Usually if they are not sold within this time frame, the dealer will take them back to the auction to resell them. And the risk is high that they could take a considerable loss. They would rather sell it to you because they at least know with certainty what they will get and they also eliminate the auction selling fees.
In addition, many dealers agree to such low pricing because they at least get the car off the lot (so that they can invest in another, more profitable one) and hope to make a profit by possibly getting your loan, or selling you an extended warranty or getting your maintenance work.
You don't have to obligate yourself to any of these things, however. They are just hoping. And these great deals are available just by going about it in the right way.
And the beauty of this technique is that not only do you get outstanding out-the-door prices, but there's no salesperson pressure hour after hour, no captive sitting in a dealership being overwhelmed with confusing numbers, no mind-numbing game playing, and most importantly, the elimination of most of the stress and uncertainty that makes buying a car such an unpleasant experience.
Instead, you'll get the lowest prices sent to you via email that you can look at and react to whenever you want, from wherever you want.
How And Where To Do This:
My personal favorite used car quote service is at Edmunds.com because of the absolutely massive number of cars listed there, their long-standing reputation for helping consumers in what can be a fairly shady auto industry, as well as how quickly and easily the process works there.
After you select your make and model, you can then further fine-tune your search by specifying model years, dealer distance, additional makes and models, and so forth. What you want to do ideally is locate at least 2 or 3 vehicles (the more, the better) at different dealerships to create the competition.
As you find vehicles at prices you are interested in, click the "Check Availability" button and submit your info on each one to start the process. Often, you will get a better price offer right away in the first email.
Incidentally, you can get "New Car" quotes there as well. (At the top of the page click on "New Car Pricing", put in your make and model and click "Go", you'll then see a picture of the model and click on "Pricing", then click on the "Compare Dealer Prices".)
When the dealers reply via email, whether you're inquiring about either a used or new car, you should respond by saying something like:
I'm contacting several dealerships about cars I'm very interested in and I am a serious buyer at this time. Is there anything else you can tell me about this vehicle and what would be your lowest price? I'm looking for the best value for the vehicles I've selected.
While most dealers will contact you by email, if one does phone, you can just say something like:
Thanks for getting back to me, but at this point I am only responding via email. I believe you have my address, so please email me and I will be happy to respond.
This technique has proven to be very effective in turning "callers" into "emailers".
And it's perfectly alright to get quotes on entirely different makes and models. While the dealers won't always be comparing apples to apples, the most important thing is that they know there are vehicles at other dealerships that are very much in the running. Differing mileage, features, fuel economy, etc., are secondary to the fact that each dealer sees that you have alternative competing choices.
After getting your response following their first contact you will see their prices immediately begin to drop.
(This method is also used very effectively on "new" cars. But the "how" and the "where", which is very important, is different. Here's where to get the details on how to get the best price on a "NEW" car).
As the dealers drop their prices and as you narrow down your choices to what you really want, here's another sample response to keep the prices going still lower:
Right now I am interested in several vehicles and will buy soon depending on the best value. I really like your car, however, I also very much like the color/mileage/specific features/location (pick what's important to you) of another car I am looking at as well as the color/mileage/specific features/location of another one as well.
I'd have to say I'm leaning in another direction at this time. But I do very much like your car and would definitely look at another offer if you'd like to make one. It's up to you.
Believe me, you'll get a whole other round of lower quotes. And the nice thing is that you are just being upfront about how you are feeling about different choices, but because each dealer knows they might lose your sale, the prices keep dropping.
And you can continue this process until dealers stop making counter offers. When that happens, you've won ... you know you're at their very lowest price. For example, you could say in a last email, something like:
Well, if that's as low as you can go, I'm just not comfortable at that price. I just feel I'm getting a stronger value somewhere else, even though I think I like your car better. I'd certainly look at another offer though if you can make it today because I really need to buy at this point.
Wrapping Things Up:
What you actually say will depend on your specific situation, but I think you get the idea. The bottomline though is that it's very likely this process will have gotten you a rock-bottom price.
You can then take it or walk away and do nothing. There's absolutely no obligation for you to do anything. The whole process is in your control and you're the one calling the shots during the entire time. How's that for a switch, huh?
If you decide to possibly purchase the car, you can say something along the lines of:
Okay, I will accept your offer of $xx,xxx as long as it passes my inspection and test drive, and if we can come to an agreement on my trade-in (if you have one).
If you are trading in a car, always keep it a separate transaction from the purchase price. You'll be asked early in the process if you have a trade-in ... don't tell them. Say something like:
I'm really not sure if I'll be trading-in or not. I could sell it myself or even keep it. Let's focus in on the price of this car for now.
It's also a good idea to get the trade-in value of your existing vehicle so you can factor that into your numbers. You can get a free appraisal at Edmunds Trade-In Quote in as little as a minute or two.
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Then negotiate the trade-in separately with the dealer if you go in and like the car. You'll find you'll likely get a fair price if you show them you've checked your numbers because they certainly don't want to blow the deal at this late moment.
Another trade-in option which has become very popular is to simply sell your vehicle online to Vroom. They'll give you an instant quote and then even come pick up your car, so it's all done from the comfort of your home with no dealer pressure or negotiating. And they'll buy any car ... the good, the bad and the ugly. I've been hearing good things about it both in terms of its ease and the prices paid.
So, head on over to Edmunds.com to get things rolling and have fun turning the tables with this.
And let me know how you do.
All the best - Josh