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

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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 26 months long, so if you’re looking for a particular payment of, say $200 a month, multiply that by 26 ($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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YourMechanic Pre-purchase Car Inspection Service

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Number of Reviews

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Rating Summary
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3,862
166
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62

Ben

39 years of experience
1113 reviews
Ben
39 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Houston, Texas
Ben was professional and extremely thorough with the pre-purchase inspection. He was able to recognize and find issues that were not disclosed by the seller. His extremely thorough report allowed me to negotiate better after my findings and get a better deal. Ben was on time and friendly. He is very knowledgeable and was up front about everything. I would definitely recommend him if purchasing a new vehicle and will use him again if services are needed.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Spring, Texas
Ben was absolutely professional and right to the point. Ben pointed out discrepancies about my Lexus honestly... I definitely will call upon Ben if any work needs to be done to my Vehicles. An Awesome Mechanic..

Torrieanto

10 years of experience
473 reviews
Torrieanto
10 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Largo, Florida
Torrieanto did a fantastic job on a used car pre-purchase inspection. He was very thorough and took the time to explain the technical details and ramifications to me. He also gave me peace of mind with my purchase and a few negotiating points to further reduce the purchase price.
Lexus IS200t - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Went above and beyond. Really took his time and was very professional. Great customer service. Thank you!

Gus

15 years of experience
16 reviews
Gus
15 years of experience
Audi A6 Quattro - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Arlington Heights, Illinois
Gus was great! He talked with me before and after he did his inspection and was very informative. He walked me through what he checked and what he recommended to replace/service on the vehicle for optimal performance. I would definitely recommend him!
Chevrolet Camaro - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Elk Grove Village, Illinois
My experienced with Gus was great. He was very personable, friendly, knowledgeable, professional, friendly, and knowledgeable.

Jose

8 years of experience
2 reviews
Jose
8 years of experience
Hyundai Genesis Coupe - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Chicago, Illinois
Jose was right on time, listened to what I had to say about the car’s history. He did a thorough inspection on the car and pointed out the necessary adjustments for a healthier car. Would definitely need his services for the next project.

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