The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

New Car Negotiating

I've never bought a new car before. How does one go about haggling? Well, I know how to haggle, but how much should I expect to see come off the sticker price? 10%? More? Less? And if 10% is the magic number, where do I start haggling? Around 15% off?

Anyone with any tips on this, let me know. I've test driven the cars already, and tonight the Bread Winner and I are going back so that she can test drive and then we can start hammering out a price. So that means that you've got about four hours to tell me what you think.


  • I am currently attempting to buy a car.

    Tip #1 -- when they leave you alone to go discuss an offer with a higher up -- do not discuss anything about the deal with your spouse. Stick to conversation about anything but the car, how much you want it, etc ... if you want to run the car down a bit that might help with the negotions .... in short, you're being watched AND bugged.

    Tip #2 If they meet your deal and ask for a check for a down payment do not think the deal is sealed because they will come back with a sad look because Higher Up has said, "No." (That happened to us once).

    Tip #3 Go get a Consumer Reports (car issue) and use those prices because those are fair prices. The dealers are usually a few thousand more dollars than Consumer Reports.

    Good luck to you!

    By Blogger Ranta Lot, at 3:23 PM, September 14, 2004  

  • Hi Oz,

    I used to be a project manager for a vehicle data company and worked with most of the major vehicle manufacturers and almost all of the online vehicle dealerships - both US and Canadian.

    I strongly recommend that you check out to learn about how much people are paying for new vehicles in your area (TMV section of their site). You can check out and as well - these will list out the invoice and MSRP prices. will also show you how much the dealer gets for holdback and how much cash incentives the manufacturer is offering the dealer for every kind of vehicle.

    While I would personally never buy another new car again (buying 1-2 years older can save so much money), having some insight into how cars are priced saved me a bundle when I bought a new car a few years back.

    By Blogger Trillian, at 3:41 PM, September 14, 2004  

  • Another good site that I have used is Kelley Blue Book, . They have invoice and retail for base model and all options, and the averge price that people are paying.

    By Blogger Bob, at 5:05 PM, September 14, 2004  

  • Thanks Bob and Trillian--I looked at both kbb and edmunds. It's great to find out how much the dealer is paying for the car and how much customers in my area are paying for it. I also liked reading the customer reviews. Both of the models I looked at had great reviews, so that was nice to see.

    Ranta--Good tip about the area being bugged. I hadn't thought of that, but you know what, it makes sense. I will keep that in mind when we're talking. Maybe we'll just go outside to chit-chat.

    By Blogger Oz, at 5:55 PM, September 14, 2004  

  • I had an adjunct accounting professor once who bought and sold cars on the side kind of as a hobby. He was great because he would teach us things other than what was in the text book. On occassion he would stop class fifteen minutes early or so and tell us about things like the difference between an normal IRA and a Roth IRA or how to read the codes on tires. One day he told us about how to buy a new car. Afterwards he said that for $100 he would be more than happy to haggle for us if we didnt' feel comfortable using his technique. "Just sit back, let me do the talking, and plan on being there for a few hours." I would loved to have seen him in action.

    By Blogger Newell, at 9:58 PM, September 14, 2004  

  • Hey Newell, It would have been great if that guy could have been there. But I think I got a good deal anyway. I mean, the dealership didn't lose money or anything like that, but I paid less than what says that people in Philly are paying for this car, so I think I did okay.

    By Blogger Oz, at 10:01 AM, September 15, 2004  

  • Congrates on your deal. Double congrates on the leather seats!

    I have to update on our deal. We, too, bought a car (just yesterday).

    The price was $21,500 on the sticker, with a base price of $19,000 and Hubby negotioated (several hours) and got $18,300.

    Happy Sigh!

    By Blogger Ranta Lot, at 11:07 PM, September 15, 2004  

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