about us contact us guides index dealer directory home

The KwikGuide to
Buying a used car
Section 1: The Search
what to look for
check the costs
where to look
where to buyarranging to viewSection 2: The Car

oily bits
test driving
Section 3: The Dealhagglingarranging to payI've been conned!
useful links
Kwik checklist
back to main index


Buying a used car

how to haggle

Many people are intimidated by the idea of haggling over the price of
a car, but don't be afraid to bargain.
It's not a cheeky thing to do - sellers expect it. If they're smart, they'll have deliberately bumped up the price to
ensure they get what they want while allowing the buyer a bit of a haggled discount.

First, decide on an upper limit you want to pay and stick to it. Take your time, be polite and use the seller's name. The more time you've spent
examining the car, the more the seller will be sweating.

KwikTip: always get a car insurance quote from Direct Line too,
as they don't take part in the price comparison websites.

Try to base your haggling on real faults. Recall all those bargain chips you pointed out when inspecting the car. List the things it would need doing to it
before you'd be happy with it - couple of new tyres, exhaust nearly needs replacing...any other faults, dents or scratches you noticed along the way.
Knock off the price of 12 months tax if it's about to expire. Give the impression
you're worried it would be an expensive car to run.

So add up all the faults then knock them off the price, plus a bit more.
You can't reduce your bid once made, so start low. Bid at least several
hundred less than the asking, more if you're confident.

If you're buying a well-prepared car from a dealer, and there aren't many faults,
be bold and make a low opening bid anyway.

Expect a look of shock and much huffing and puffing. But don't be bluffed.
Look disinterested and leave an awkward silence. Silence is the best
bargaining tool there is
. Don't crack first.

The seller will either say they can't do it for that price, in which case ask them what their best price is. Or they'll come back with a figure below their original asking price.

If they stick to their asking price, reiterate all the faults you've found. Point out
a few similar cars fetching cheaper prices in Auto Trader or other adverts that you've picked out in advance.

When the seller lowers their price in return, don't give in too soon, because
now you've got them on the ropes. Make another bid - this time a little bit higher than your first bid, as long as it's within your upper limit.

If the seller won't budge any further, invoke a higher authority: say you'll have
to ask your partner, and what a shock, they say you can only pay what you've offered. Any increases you now concede will be worth double their face value.

All the while keep checking your watch and looking concerned. You have
another car to visit very soon. It's not you -v- the seller but one seller -v- another.

Make a final offer - if necessary, see if they'll go for splitting the difference. Let them know you'll pay cash and offer to take the car away that day.

If they don't accept, give them your number and ask them to ring you back if
they don't get a better offer.

Before you buy, do be clear about road tax - is it included in the price?
Don't forget to check it's still there before driving your purchase away.

Haggling will only fail if the seller isn't in a rush to sell the car, in which case there's not much you can do. Or they're not convinced they should give the discount you're asking for, which means you didn't get the inspection & fault spotting stage right.

Next page:
how to pay for a used car >>


© 2013 KwikGuides Ltd - All Rights Reserved