Victoria Car Buying Negotiations
Here are some tips for your negotiations:
- Anything not in writing from the dealer or manufacturer will be difficult to prove if you have any problems later. Read the dealer's "Automobile Consumer Bill of Rights".
- Be sure to have the dealer staple signed brochures and specification sheets to the final purchase agreement, since this makes them legally binding.
- The dealer wants your money more than you need to own an over-priced new car (sometimes this is worth mentioning to the salesperson).
- Don't let the dealer use a favourable Consumer Report review to inflate vehicle pricing. The dealer would likely ignore an unfavourable review.
- Keep the deal simple. Separate the aspects to negotiate on each part and to avoid confusion.
- The new vehicle (Don't reveal that you have a trade-in until after negotiating the price on a new vehicle)
- On the trade-in (you can usually get a better value for your old car by selling the vehicle privately than by trading it in with the dealer)
- On the interest rate of your loan (if you borrow from the manufacturer, seller, or bank). Make as large a down payment as you can afford to keep payments and interest low.
- On lease deals, negotiate the total cost of the vehicle, buy-back value, options and lease fees (don't forget to be clear about who is responsible for maintenance and minor "dings")
- Base your offer on the manufacturer's invoice price (dealer cost) not the sticker price! The manufacturer's invoice cost is available from the AMA, Consumer Reports (US), or other car pricing services for a fee. Set a budget and stick to it. Let the dealer "take it or leave it", they often call you back.
- Don't use the "Red Book" as a guide, since it represents industry-set resale prices, not wholesale buying value.
- With new car depreciation, you might seriously consider buying a one or two year-old used vehicle (often with warranty still left). You might also get last year's new models at a substantially reduced price.
- Negotiate a 30-day return clause into your purchase or lease agreements. This is not usual when buying a car, but gives additional protection.
- Plan your purchase six months to a year in advance. Your best negotiating weapon is the ability to wait.
Other car buying tips