How to get the best deal when you buy a new car

By Marc Lockley , Friday 15 February 2013

New vehicle registrations are looming and March is always a prime period for buying a new car. With showrooms competing for your pound, this is a great time to drive down the price.
Is the taxman being nice to car drivers for once?Research, timing and forward planning are crucial for car-buying

Become a car expert in your purchase
Like many, my knowledge of cars is limited, however a month or so prior to buying begin your research. Assuming you know the make and model you want and what accessories it includes, search showrooms via the internet, looking at prices offered across the UK. This will show that asking prices vary considerably for the same vehicle depending on where you buy it.
Use the lowest price as a benchmark for a deal, however you may find you can improve upon this figure when negotiating face-to-face.

Like many, my knowledge of cars is limited, however a month or so prior to buying begin your research. Assuming you know the make and model you want and what accessories it includes, search showrooms via the Internet, looking at prices offered across the UK. This will show that asking prices vary considerably for the same vehicle depending on where you buy it. Use the lowest price as a benchmark for a deal, however you may find you can improve upon this figure when negotiating face-to-face.

Don’t underestimate the value of your old car
If you are trading in your old vehicle, visit whatcar.com or glass.co.uk to get an approximate value; remember you are more likely to achieve a higher price if you sell privately.

Know what price you want
Given the research on prices you have done, think of two outcomes: ideal – the best price you could hope to achieve; and a ‘walk-away’ – lower than this amount and you will happily leave the showroom without purchasing.

Prepare your patter
You want to seem keen, but not committed. When you take the car out for a test-drive, casually drop in the conversation that you have both visited and spoken to other showrooms and seen some great deals on offer.


Get your timing right
Buying a car at the end of a quarter (for example March 31) is often a great time to get a discount as showrooms and their staff are aiming to hit their respective targets. Allow yourself ample time (perhaps a couple of weeks) to fill in the necessary paperwork and take delivery of the vehicle, as the price offered may be on condition you complete the deal by the end of the month.

Negotiate
Politeness invariably wins people over. After test-driving the car ask the dealer for their best price and what that includes, making sure you have all the additional extras quoted in the price. Now is the time to mention your research, telling the salesperson that their price is too expensive and that you can gain a better deal elsewhere, what else can they do?
If and when they offer a deal you are happy with, it is worth saying you will agree to that price if they include a full tank of fuel.


* Written by Marc Lockley – a negotiation coach and money saving expert. Information correct when writing. Marc's opinions are his own and for general information only - always seek independent, professional, financial advice. He also tweets at www.twitter.com/negotiator1


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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