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Arm yourself for success, and you can feel confident when you commence the car buying process.

Shop around

While it might not be a negotiating tactic, shopping around to get a feel for the price and offers available for a particular model gives you a good base to start your negotiations on.

You should choose at least three or four dealerships to visit and try and visit all of them before deciding. Use the time to get a rough idea of price and any extras that might get thrown into the deal.

Bear in mind that although manufacturers try to get dealers to sell to customers within their area, you can still go to any dealership for servicing. So don’t let the location affect your final decision.

It’s all about the timing

Like any business, a car dealership has targets they want to hit by the end of each month and especially the end of financial year. This means that if you’re clever with your timing (and a little lucky), you could pick up a great deal as they look to hit their sales goals.

Each dealer will be a little different (and some may hit their targets earlier and won’t offer any deals) but if you search around in the last ten days of the month it’s one of the best times to shop!

Ask about in-stock cars

The cars that are already in the showroom are there for the taking, quite literally. The dealer needs to buy these cars from the manufacturer and they need to sell them before they can bring in more.

So if you want red, but they have a black car in stock, you just might get a little discount for compromising on colour.

Don’t let them push you on time

There’s a rule that salespeople go by - any potential buyer who leaves a showroom without making a commitment has only 50% chance of coming back. This means they may try and nudge you towards a sale at the first visit.

Don’t feel pressure though, any deal that’s on the table today will still be there when you come back. That’s why it’s handy to visit several showrooms when you’re shopping because you’ll get a feeling for what’s around and what offers are available.

A dealership is a business

There are a few ways dealerships can make money. So, if a dealer is offering you a significant discount on a new car they may hope to increase the transaction with additional accessories or ongoing servicing. It is unlikely that they’re making very little money off the sale of your car, so if a dealer says that, don’t feel you have to go with these additions in order to off-set that discount.

Shiny object syndrome

Those extras that the dealer is offering could be a real deal sweetener but only if there are no strings attached. Try to think about the car without the added extras and don’t go as they can add up.

If there is something you simply can’t live without, then consider aftermarket accessories instead of dealer installed ones as they are often cheaper. Do your research though as they may affect your manufacturer’s warranty.

Do you need added protection?

A new car comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, the length of time will vary depending on the make and model so make sure you confirm this before you purchase. An extended warranty is a good product to consider if you are buying a second-hand car (and the manufacturer’s warranty has expired) as it reduces the financial impact of unexpected repairs. If you’re considering finance on the car and the loan is for five years but the manufacturer’s warranty is for three then an extended warranty will cover you for the length of the loan.

Get your finance elsewhere

Dealers often advertise low interest rates (think 1-2%) which are a lot lower than other loan products, but this doesn’t mean your overall repayments will be lower. In fact they’re often higher because of upfront and ongoing fees! There are often better options than dealer finance so make sure you do your research and find out what loan product has the lowest overall cost over the lifetime of the loan.

Be ready to walk away

It’s always a good idea to give yourself some time to think between negotiations and making your final decision.

Get your finance pre-approved (we can do this for you here at Stratton) and you’ll be able to negotiate like a cash buyer and take your business elsewhere

The best news as a car buyer is that the market favours you! Therefore, no matter how much you want that car, be ready to walk away from it if the deal is not right. You’ll be surprised at how many dealers come around to your way of thinking when they see their sale walking out the door.

Feel confident when you’re negotiating with a dealer – after all, buying a new car is exciting and you should enjoy the process! Now that you have these expert tips you can feel even more equipped to go shopping.

If you’re finding the whole negotiation process too overwhelming (or you don’t have the time to dedicate to it) why not speak to our car buying service carconnect. They will source your car and pretty much handle the entire buying process, so you don’t have to lift a finger. As a bonus they’ll even deliver the car to your door with a full tank of petrol.

If you’re looking for a new car and want to know your finance options give us a call on 1300 787 288 and we’ll take the time to understand your circumstances and find a deal that’s right for you.

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