5 Tips for Negotiating Your Car Price


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Getting a good deal on a car might seem impossible with prices increasing the way they are, but it isn’t out of the question if you come ready to negotiate. Here we’ll cover some tactics for negotiating a car price and share some online alternatives for buying a car, in case you want to avoid in-person negotiations altogether.

What We'll Cover

  • Websites that can help you find the average price of a specific car in your area
  • How to get pre-approved for an auto loan
  • Tips and tactics for in-person negotiations with a seller
  • Online options for buying a car

How to Negotiate a Car Price

With a little prep work, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on your next car purchase. Here are 5 tips to help you negotiate a car price.


1. Do your research.

Before heading to the dealership, do some research on the car you’re looking to buy. Look up the make and model of the car you’re interested in and find out what the average price is in your area.

On websites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NadaGuides, you can enter the make and model of the car you’re interested in along with your zip code. These sites will provide you with an estimated price range for that specific car in your area.

You can also browse dealership websites to see the prices of their cars online. Then use this information to compare prices between different dealerships and get a sense of what the average price is for the car you want in your area.


2. Get pre-approved for an auto loan.

Getting pre-approved for an auto loan before you start car shopping gives you an idea of what you can afford and helps you stay within your budget. This gives you some leverage when negotiating with dealerships if you let them know you have a price point and you’re sticking to it.

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3. Shop around.

You might be ready to get your car and get the process over with. But if you have the time, visit a couple of dealerships. You won’t know if you’re getting a good deal if you talk to only one seller. Plus, if they know you’re shopping around, they’ll have more incentive to negotiate the price with you.

Additionally, it helps to keep your options open on the type of car you’re buying. If you’re intent on buying a certain car or a specific model, a seller might not feel so compelled to negotiate because they know that’s the car you’ve got your heart set on.


4. Be prepared to walk away.

If you don’t get the deal you want, be prepared to walk away. Yes, you want to buy a car, but the dealership also wants to make a sale. Walking away tells them you’re serious about your price point, and you might just get a phone call before you leave the parking lot.


5. Consider an online alternative.

The entire car-buying process can also happen online if you want to avoid in-person negotiations. Some sites set a fixed price for a car with no wiggle room, but others allow you to make offers on a car that can result in a lower price. Either way, buying a car online saves you from the pressure of a salesperson and allows you to take your time and make your decision on your terms.

You can also use websites like Vroom or Carvana for price comparison if you do want to negotiate in person at a dealership.

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Key Takeaways

  • Get pre-approved for an auto loan to determine the budget you need to stick to.
  • Research the vehicle you’re looking to buy on a site like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds or NadaGuides to find out what the average price is in your area.
  • Be prepared to walk away if you don’t get the price you’re asking for.
  • Try an online alternative to avoid the pressure of in-person car buying.

Ready to take the first step?

Doing your research and getting pre-approved for an auto loan can help you feel prepared to negotiate for a car price within your budget. Take a step toward your new car by getting pre-approved for an auto loan from OneAZ Credit Union. Visit any local OneAZ Credit Union branch, apply over the phone 24/7 or apply online and get some of Arizona’s lowest rates on used car loans.

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