Whether you’re shopping around for a used hatchback or a brand new SUV, buying a car is always an investment. Engaging with dealers is one of the biggest challenges you will face, with most car dealers naturally trying to get the best deal possible for them. For this reason, it pays to educate yourself when shopping for a new car. Knowing what questions to ask a car dealer is important. However, you also need to know what not to say. Build confidence and secure the best price possible with this guide on how to deal with car dealers and the top things to never reveal.
1. How much you really love a particular car
Car dealers can often use your emotional connection to a car to raise the price. As such, it’s important not to give away too much, especially if you’re feeling the love. When you’re inspecting a vehicle for the first time, try to avoid gushing over certain features from the moment you slip into the driver’s seat. Revealing too much interest in a vehicle gives a car dealer more power over pricing and makes them less inclined to negotiate. While you don’t need to act completely disinterested and underwhelmed, play your cards close to your chest. Definitely avoid disclosing just how much you love the vehicle.
2. Your lack of knowledge about cars
While some people are natural born mechanics, most find even the smallest car maintenance jobs a challenge. If you fall into the latter category, don’t reveal your lack of knowledge to a car dealer. This makes it easier for them to brush over any mechanical issues and upsell unnecessary features.
3. That you’re willing to buy a car that’s been in an accident
Cars that have been in accidents can still be perfectly good vehicles, if you know what to look for. So, do car dealers have to disclose accidents? Technically, dealers don’t have to reveal whether a used car has been in an accident. In some cases, they may not even know themselves, especially if the car has had several owners. When inspecting a used car, look for replaced panels and bubbles in the paintwork, because these can indicate that it’s been in a major crash.
4. That you’re suspicious of car dealers
It’s good to present yourself as informed and confident, but not to the point that you offend a dealer or suggest they’re untrustworthy. Saying things like “I know how you lot operate” or “I don’t want to get taken for a ride” can make it difficult to build a rapport and secure the best price.
Remember, almost all car dealers are genuinely good, honest people who are simply doing their jobs. Developing a good relationship with a dealer is the best way to secure a good price and ensure a mutually beneficial car deal.
5. That you have the option of cash
If you’re planning to pay cash for a vehicle, it’s best to disclose this later on in the deal. This is because customers purchasing cars on finance are generally offered better prices.
Why? Because dealerships can make up the difference with interest. When you pay cash, you’re withholding an opportunity for a dealer to make extra money on your purchase.
6. Your weekly or monthly repayment budget
It’s best not to reveal your repayment budget to a car dealer too early. Talking about a sale in terms of repayments can make the bottom-line price seem much lower and more affordable than it actually is. When you’re presented a monthly repayment as part of a two-year loan, the final figure is much more appealing.
This is one of the best and most effective psychological sales techniques used by car dealers around the world. Discussing pricing in terms of repayments and not the final figure can also be confusing for the buyer. For these reasons, it’s best to negotiate using your overall budget, not your weekly or monthly repayment target.
7. Your occupation
Unfortunately, some car dealers place a lot of value on uncovering your profession. High earners, such as doctors and lawyers, are often given a higher budget by the dealer. Because of this, they’re automatically at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating. This is known as ‘price discrimination’. While it’s completely aboveboard, it’s not very ethical. To avoid paying too much, leave discussions about your profession at the door and negotiate on a clean slate.
8. You’re desperate for a new car
Dealers of any kind thrive on desperation, which is why it’s important to play it cool. Never say things like “my car has broken down” or “I’m looking to go on a road trip soon”. This makes it easier for the car dealer to build a sense of urgency and pressure you into a sale.
9. You’re desperate to sell or trade in
Similarly, you should never reveal you’re desperate to sell or trade in an existing vehicle. Again, creating a sense of urgency is one of the oldest and most effective car dealership secrets in the book and can have a big impact on price.
Expert Advice & Car Brokering from The Vehicle Broker
Do you need help finding the best cars for sale in Brisbane? Contact The Vehicle Broker for professional negotiation, detailed research and vehicle sourcing. Whether you’ve got your eye on a second-hand Hyundai i30 or the latest Toyota Landcruiser, we’ll help you understand what questions to ask a dealer and show you how to secure the best possible price for your new car.