Try these strategies to negotiate a good deal on a new car
If you have your heart set on buying a new car this year, be prepared to pay significantly more.
Consumer Reports says that inflation, shortages on parts and a recovering economy have caused prices to skyrocket. But there are some steps you can take to get the best deal possible.
Some vehicles are so hard to come by that many are paying well above sticker price. For example, Consumer Reports says it has seen the Jeep Compass selling for 15% over MSRP, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 selling 17% over and the 2021 Kia Telluride is currently selling for 18% over MSRP.
READ: How to buy a used car without getting a lemon
Your best bet, according to Consumer Reports, is to choose a model that isn’t in such high demand. And, when you are ready to go head-to-head with a salesperson at the dealership, be prepared to negotiate.
“Let the salesperson know you have researched the transaction price for the car and trim level you want,” said Consumer Reports Auto Editor Jon Linkov.
This means you should know approximately what the dealer paid for it and already calculated what you are prepared to pay. If the salesperson can meet your target price, let them know you’ll be ready to buy immediately and if not, you intend to visit other dealerships.
“The salesperson will try to keep the focus on your monthly payment. Insist on negotiating one thing at a time,” Linkov said. “Only after you’ve locked in the price of your new car, should you begin to discuss a trade-in or financing.”
SEE WHAT YOUR TRADE IS WORTH: Consumer Reports’ car value estimator
Speaking of trade-ins, since the used car market is also tight, Consumer Reports says your older car will probably never be worth more than it is right now. There’s no reason a dealership shouldn’t give you at least its wholesale value as a trade-in allowance.
But if you are offered a price that’s in your target range, you should probably accept it because supplies continue to be low, and you might not find the car, or a better deal, at another dealership.
Consumer Reports says if the trade-in discussions become too burdensome but you’re not willing to pull out of the new-car deal, you can always sell the car elsewhere, including CarMax and online retailers like Carvana and TRED.
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