Negotiate the best price on a new or used car with the help of a car buying expert

New cars are expensive due to delays in manufacturing, causing the value of used cars to skyrocket by nearly 30 percent in just one year. With this in mind, it is important to get the most value possible at the lowest possible price. spoke to Chris Knappman of used car buying site Cargurus for some tips and tricks on the trade.

Research is the key

In order to determine the starting price for a bargain, car buyers need to know roughly the value of the vehicle in question, says Chris: “Use an online appraisal tool such as Cargurus Instant Market Value that tells you immediately how much the vehicle is going to compare with similar models in the market.”

“If the advertised price is higher than the spot market value, print lists of similar forms to show to the seller.

“Even if the advertised price is below the spot market value, it’s still worth making an offer, but don’t be surprised if the seller doesn’t want to budge.

In this case, also note how long the vehicle in question has been listed.

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Chris added that when buying a new car, it pays to take the time to research the various brokers and rental sites to see what kind of rates are on offer.

He says, “Your local distributor may not be able to match pound for pound, but by knowing how to price similar models online, you’ll be in a good position to make a counter-offer.

“Car dealerships who sell new cars also have sales targets to achieve. They are usually set on a monthly basis, so approaching the showroom at the end of the month can increase your chances of getting a good price.”

“If they don’t want to change the price, ask them if they’ll throw in some optional extras instead, like car insurance or even just a fuel tank.”

Chris explained, “Remember to check your specialized car news and site reviews to see if the model is about to be replaced.

“A car dealer rarely tells you this information, but it can be a good reason to expect a big discount, because the arrival of a shiny new model will inevitably devalue the unwanted previous model.”

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partial exchange factor
When you trade in a vehicle as part of your purchase, the trade-in value of your old car is just as important as any discount you can negotiate on the price of the new car.

Chris explains: “As such, it is important to do your research and know the value of the piece, and to be realistic about its condition and specifications compared to similar models on the market.

With all this in mind, the value you need to focus on when micro-exchange is what is called ‘the price to change’.

“This is the difference between replacing your parts and the cost of replacing them. By setting your budget early in the buying process, you will know for sure if the price to change is one you can afford.”

Be prepared to walk far
Finally, it is always worth remembering that another car will always come.

“If you can’t agree on a price that’s right for both seller and buyer, it’s okay to leave,” Chris says.

“Unless you pay the deposit, you are under no obligation to buy (just as the seller is not obligated to sell). So, if the numbers aren’t in your favour, you can simply thank the seller for his or her time and continue your search elsewhere.

“There is no harm at this point in leaving your contact details in case the seller changes his mind and agrees to a better price.

“In many cases, sellers shrug when they realize a potential buyer may be about to look elsewhere, which means turning away is sometimes an effective tool in the bargaining process, not the end of it.”

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