Top 5 Tips for Negotiating a Better Price on a Used Car

Buying a used car can feel like a very intimidating process. You want to make sure that you get the best value for your money, and that you end up with a car that’s going to last you for the next several years. The key to getting the best value is to do your research, and use that information to negotiate a better price on the used car.

Tips to help you navigate your negotiation

  1. When the dealer asks how much you’re willing to pay, give an overall price. Most used car loans are 36 months long, so if you’re looking for a particular payment of, say $300 a month, multiply that by 36 ($10,800), and then subtract ten percent ($1080) to cover the taxes and other associated fees that will come with your purchase. Add that amount ($9720) to the amount of the down payment you’re willing to make to get your final overall price.

  2. Become familiar with the Kelley Blue Book. The Kelley Blue book will give you the approximate value of the vehicle you have in mind, minus any modifications that may have been done. You can look up the make and model of the vehicle you’re considering using their research tools, and print out the information to bring to the dealership with you. Their app even allows you to pull up specs and reviews on your smartphone, right from the dealership.

  3. If you have a trade-in, know its value, too. Again, the Kelley Blue Book is your friend. Bring all of your maintenance records with you. That will help them to determine how well the vehicle was taken care of, which can increase the trade-in value. Maintenance records will also show the value of any modifications, and if they were previously installed, they may also increase the value of your trade-in.

  4. You may be able to negotiate the price of an extended warranty or any work that the dealership agrees to do based on the maintenance records of the vehicle. If the vehicle has been well maintained, the price of that extended warranty should be cheaper.

  5. Get a pre-purchase inspection by a third party mechanic. A dealership should have licensed mechanics on staff, but their ultimate goal is to sell you the vehicle. A pre-purchase inspection not only insures that what the dealership is telling you is truthful, but can give you the true value of any aftermarket modifications. YourMechanic offers pre-purchase inspections to help you make a well informed purchase.

When you go to the dealership with a researched vehicle choice, well armed with the knowledge of knowing what you want and need, and prepared to book a pre-purchase inspection, you should be able to negotiate a price on a used vehicle that is easy on your wallet.


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Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

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4,847
184
37
38
83

Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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