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Negotiating on used car price

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Hello

I’m looking at buying a second hand car and went to test drive one today.
I asked the dealer what would be the best price he could sell me the car for, and he said they don’t negotiate on price and he would sell it for the price listed. 

Is this likely to be true?! In my limited experience of buying cars, the price has always been negotiable. I guess the answer is to compare prices online but a) I would assume that most other prices are negotiable rather than fixed, and b) not being a car person, I find it hard to compare like for like as each one is ever so slightly different despite being same make/model, and I don’t really know what all the terminology means! 

Would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this, please :smile: 

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  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,834 Forumite
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    As used car prices are stupidly high at the moment, the dealer may be telling the truth. If a car has been in stock for a long time or is an unpopular model or colour or specification, then a dealer may be more willing to negotiate
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,233 Forumite
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    A few dealers say they won't negotiate and stick to the listed price rigerously, but most will entertain offers if they are close to the asking price and the reduction is justified, e.g. you spot something that wasn't mentioned in the ad.

    Ultimately you need to judge what that car is worth to you, based on what you know about it, and consider what is the maximum you are comfortable paying. Assuming this is less than the asking price, you will need to decide whether see if they will negotiate or if you will just walk away without asking them.  

    It doesn't sound like you are ready to buy that car yet. Once you are ready to buy it and you know what is the maximum you are prepared to pay for it, you can see if they will accept an offer.  They know what the car is worth, and they know what they need to get for it, and this won't be exactly the price it is listed for, so make the offer and walk away after 5 minutes if they haven't accepted it because they aren't going to, and they might try to talk you into buying it at a price that it more than it is worth, so leave if they don't accept your offer. Just make sure you are happy to buy immediately. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,269 Forumite
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    Sites like Auto trader have made it much easier to compare prices across a number of dealers than it used to be. If the dealer wants you to come and see the car, it even pick up the phone and talk about it, he has to set the advertised price so that appears near the top of your search results, or at least stands out from them. So the profit margin on the list price is already quite squeezed. Doesn't necessarily mean that there's no room for negotiation at all, but there's certainly less than there was in the "good old days".
  • force_ten1
    force_ten1 Posts: 60 Forumite
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    Hello

    I’m looking at buying a second hand car and went to test drive one today.
    I asked the dealer what would be the best price he could sell me the car for, and he said they don’t negotiate on price and he would sell it for the price listed. 

    Is this likely to be true?! In my limited experience of buying cars, the price has always been negotiable. I guess the answer is to compare prices online but a) I would assume that most other prices are negotiable rather than fixed, and b) not being a car person, I find it hard to compare like for like as each one is ever so slightly different despite being same make/model, and I don’t really know what all the terminology means! 

    Would be interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this, please :smile: 

    what was wrong with the car that you feel warrants a discount on the asking price ?
  • rumpetroll
    rumpetroll Posts: 94 Forumite
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    I don't know about the dealer, but I hate the question "what's the best price you'll take?", that isn't negotiating, you are trying to put the seller in to a disadvantaged position. When I've sold things on FB if someone asks me that then I won't knock a single penny off the asking price, if someone comes in with a sensible offer however then I'll entertain it and negotiate a price.
  • Bigwheels1111
    Bigwheels1111 Posts: 2,559 Forumite
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    My friend was negotiating a deal for his mum’s new car at Ford.
    It came down to the salesman stating you are going to loose this deal over £50.
    Friend said No, you are and walked out.
    Went to Ford 5 miles away and saved £400 & got free mats and mud flaps.

    Do your research, same make model and milage and price. 
    When I purchased my last car the dealer said no discount, then got him to £150 off.
    But a dealership 10 miles away had the same cars, so went outside to think about it, called the other dealer and asked for their
    best price for a sale today with Mats and a boot liner.
    I then went back in and stated Mark from the next town would do it for £650 less.
    They obviously knew him because 2 minutes later I had £700 off and the mats and boot liner.
    I was prepared to walk away, it’s that simple.


  • prowla
    prowla Posts: 13,397 Forumite
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    It is always worth negotiating and you have to be prepared to walk away if the dealer won't budge.
    You do need to do the background research beforehand rather than trying to negotiate from a position of not knowing the market value of the car.
    The "what's your best price" tactic is probably learned from the TV auction shows, and is usually followed by the buyer making an offer below it.
    I've had dealers telling me it's only list price, etc., but have always got a better deal or gone elsewhere:
    • In once case I told the dealer I was going to buy one of those cars and suggested a price, but they wouldn't budge and offered to chuck in a set of mats, so I gave them one more chance and then went and bought the car elsewhere; the salesman's face dropped when I went back to buy some mats for it. (Actually, they mistakenly gave me two sets of mats, but I did tell them and returned the 2nd set!)
    • I've also had repeat visits to dealers to buy a new car and been stonewalled until I went back a last time and asked if they really wanted to sell me a car or not, at which point I've come out with an acceptable deal.
    The bottom line is that any dealer who won't negotiate on price is playing you.
  • Stubod
    Stubod Posts: 2,217 Forumite
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    I had no joy getting anything other than a set of mats on the last 2 cars I purchased. With the market as it is at the mo. I think the days of "getting deals" are more or less over until the supply situation improves?
    .."It's everybody's fault but mine...."
  • WellKnownSid
    WellKnownSid Posts: 1,520 Forumite
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    You cannot conflate the buying of new and used cars together because they are two totally different concepts.  Aside from the margins, incentives, inventory, etc - every used car is unique whereas new cars are all identical.
  • Tinkertonian
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    what was wrong with the car that you feel warrants a discount on the asking price ?
    Nothing really. I just assumed that it was normal to haggle on used car prices and wanted to check if this was generally the case or not. 
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