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How to negotiate the best price on a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering you interactive tools and financial calculators that provide original and reliable content. This allows you to conduct your own research and compare information at no cost and help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that are advertised on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are listed on this website, for example such things as the order in which they may appear within the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. Our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity and other home lending products. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews you see on this site. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be open to you.


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4 min read Published September 20th, 2022.

Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely using loans to buy the car they want.

Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-researched, and well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated subjects into digestible pieces.

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Buying a new car is exciting but negotiating for the lowest price may be daunting. Preparation is the key to having confidence and pushing for the price you deserve. 7 steps for negotiating the price of your car. Set yourself up for success when negotiating by and exploring your options. These tips will help you be more prepared to negotiate with the seller and help you get a deal that’s within your budget. 1. Determine the most important aspects before the negotiation process can begin take a look at the type of car you want. If you don’t have your ideal set of wheels picked out think about your needs and lifestyle. Will you be driving long distances or in dense traffic and require a fuel-efficient vehicle? Is it just you and your spouse, or do you require something bigger to transport your children or family members? Are any features non-negotiable? These are only a few questions to ponder when determining which makes and models . Also, you can run the numbers to get an idea of . Make use of an online auto loan calculator to estimate the cost of a monthly installment, and don’t forget to think about the other aspect in determining a budget. Determine the maximum amount you will spend, and keep it in mind when you negotiate. 2. Pre-approve for financing second thing you must look into financing. You should think about financing prior to going to a dealer to purchase a vehicle. Many car dealerships offer in-house financing, however it is . Dealerships typically increase their loan rates to earn a profit. You can find better rates from credit unions, banks and online lenders. So, compare offers and online. The financing you secure will help you stay firm. You will know exactly the amount you’ll need to spend, which will mean less temptation toward upgrades and pricey add-ons. Plus, preapproval gives you negotiating power -the dealer could offer to match or beat the other offers you get to win your business. To find out what your the monthly payment could be with different rates and loan terms. 3. Research the car’s value Do some research to determine the car’s value and jot down the following figures (MSRP): Manufacturer Suggested Retail (MSRP) This is the suggested sales price per the automaker, also referred to by the term “sticker price.” Invoice price : The amount that the dealer pays the manufacturer to purchase the car. Fair market value : The the average price that others pay for the same or similar car. Look for your MSRP in the pricing sheet that’s attached to the vehicle’s window. You can identify an invoice’s value and the fair market price using an online search or by using a the aid of a tool. If you want a new car, use the invoice price as your starting base. Ideally, the price you choose should be between and the MSRP and this figure. If you’re purchasing a used vehicle or a used vehicle, you’ll have more flexibility when negotiating according to the car’s make, model, mileage and condition. 4. Research dealerships Even if a dealership offers great deals on the cars you want but it might not be the most suitable choice. Beware of dealers that charge excessive charges for dealer services or have poor reputations. Read online reviews to get insights from customers who have been there. Also, inquire about the dealer’s fees prior to you start shopping for an automobile. 5. Check around, unless you know exactly what vehicle you’re looking for, down to the make models, VIN and model You can shop around. Visit some dealerships in your area over several weeks. Find out the types of cars available and talk to a couple of different salespeople. Create a shortlist of your top options and look up the MSRP, invoice price and the fair market value. You can use to facilitate the process. You’ll have the pricing information needed to negotiate the best deal and the dealer will know you’ve doen your research. It’s harder to bargain — and more difficult to overpay — on a vehicle in the event that you rush through the purchase process. 6. Find out about tips for negotiation People are expecting you to negotiate your car’s price. Don’t feel bad asking however, make sure you have an idea of what you want to achieve. Prepare price reports or comparison sheets. Look up websites such as and . If you know the price that is fair for the car is or that another dealership is offering a better deal, give this information. This will give you a leg up in negotiating. Be firm. Even if it is difficult about asking for a better deal, try not to show it. Be confident and inform them of the amount you’d like to pay. The word “firm” also refers to the confidence that you know the amount you are entitled to. For instance, if you believe you have credit that is good, use it to your advantage when it comes to discussing financing from a dealership. Prepare yourself for the long haul. It’s not uncommon to find the negotiation process to take time. Plan for an extended time at the dealership by being rested and taking care to avoid the possibility of getting angry or racing due to thirst, hunger or any other distractions. If you’re not able to get the price you want do not be afraid to leave. There is a chance you can find a new car for sale and a better price elsewhere, or you may go back to the dealership for a second time and bargain again. The fact that you walk away proves that you’re serious about securing an excellent bargain. 7. Alternate salesperson if you’re working with a salesperson that is making you feel uncomfortable, find another person who can help. It’s a good idea to move your business to another dealership to ensure that you are treated with respect while shopping and negotiating the best deal on a vehicle. The next step is to buy a car. is a laborious process however, when you’re spending this much money it is important to make sure you are getting the car you desire at the price you want before you close the deal. Take time before getting to the dealership to get ready so you can negotiate with confidence and knowledge about how much you should be paying. Don’t be afraid of request the price you’d like and leave if needed. Learn more


Authored by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase the car they want.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers feel confident to control their finances by providing precise, well-studied information that dissects complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

Auto loans editor

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