Barrie-Muskoka Transportation & Cars: Buying The Car - Negotiating at the Dealership

Do your homework. Many dealerships prey on unprepared car shoppers. You should never go into a showroom without key facts, preferences and preliminary pricing . Otherwise the salesperson controls everything in the buying process.

"No-dicker" price structures recognize the unpleasantness of buying a vehicle. Everything is negotiable, even the "value price"

Negotiate one element at one time. Salespeople like to mix financing, leasing, and trade-in negotiations together, bundling everything into a monthly payment figure. This tactic enables the dealer to boost price and payout period to offer you a "favorable" figure. Only after you've settled on the price should you discuss financing, leasing, or a trade-in, as necessary.

Remember, you're the customer and can leave at any time. Heading for the door can sometimes bring a better (final?) offer and help resolve some difficult issues.

Arrange financing in advance. Compare interest rates at several banks, credit unions, and lenders before checking the dealer's rates. If you are already pre-approved for a loan, you can keep financial arrangements out of the negotiations. Automakers may offer attractive financing terms, but only for those with perfect credit. The salesperson will often try to sign you up for a higher rate than you could get elsewhere.

Don't pay for extras you don't need. Dealers often try to sell you extras such as extended warranties, rustproofing, fabric protection, paint protectant, etcetera. These are often high-cost (and high margin) additions to a well negotiated car price.

You can research car prices at these auto-pricing web sites

  • Kelly Blue Book

    Consumer Reports services

    New Car Price Report ($12). Includes the CR Wholesale Price, dealer holdbacks, option pricing, and feature recommendations.

    New Car Buying Kit ($39/three months). Provides unlimited New Car Price Reports, in-depth test reports, and tools and information for researching and comparing vehicles.

    Used Car Price Report ($10). Helps you price a used car or find out the value of your current car. Includes CR reliability ratings and buying, selling, and trade-in advice.

    Some US Information Sources

    Some of the information above is in US funds, for US consumers. While the model information will largely be the same. You will need to convert the pricing. To convert any US dollar prices, you can multiply by 1.2 for approximate pricing.

    Some sites require you to enter a US Zip Code to acess their data, try these:

    • for BC/Alberta: Seattle,WA 98101
    • for Sask/Man: Minneapolis, MN 55415
    • for Ontario: Buffalo, NY 14203
    • for Maritimes: Bangor, ME 04401
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