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How you can negotiate a killer price on a used car

Does negotiating a used car price make your mouth dry and your hands tremble? Well, you’re not alone. Buying a used car – and making sure you don’t get ripped off – can be extremely stressful. That’s why it’s helpful to have a few tricks up your sleeve before facing off with the seller.

Tips for haggling your way into a bargain

Remember: although you want that used car, the seller wants to jettison it, too. Coming to terms on a price is all that’s needed to make everyone happy. Here are a few tips to make it work out – and get a killer deal in the process.

Get a pre-purchase inspection

A pre-purchase inspection is one of the best ways to bargain for a great price on a used vehicle.  Even if you don’t know a spark plug from a tie rod, you can enlist someone who does. And that expert can net you a better deal on your dream car. A professional inspection report outlines what’s wrong with the vehicle, and you can use those faults as leverage to negotiate a lower price.

Don’t act desperate

Desperation is a turn off on a first date. And it’s equally as detrimental when buying a used car. If you seem overly-eager to get a vehicle into your driveway, the seller may capitalize on your emotions by hiking the price. So, play it cool; act like you’ve got other cars on your radar and you’ll end up with a better deal.

Do your homework

Finding the value of a used car is exceedingly easy these days. Simply hop online and go to a vehicle valuation website like Kelly Blue Book or NADA. Searching online advertisements for a comparable vehicle can be helpful as well, especially with either older or niche vehicles. The reason being, valuation sites often underestimate the value of special interest or classic cars.

After you’ve done your homework, and you can estimate the value of the car, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate with the seller. You’ll know the vehicles’ worth, regardless of the listed asking price – and you’ll have data to back up your argument.

Consider every aspect of the deal

If you’re buying from a dealership, you’ll need to consider more than just the asking price. Don’t forget other costs, such as finance, insurance and add-ons that can quickly escalate cost. Also, if you’re trading in a vehicle, you’ll want to know its value beforehand. That way, you won’t get conned into giving away your old ride.

Negotiate with the seller in mind

Keeping the other party, the seller, in mind will also help you score a good deal. After all, sellers, including toupee-wearing used car dealers, are people with emotions and egos. The following tactics will help you interact more effectively for a better deal.

Remember your manners

Mom always said, “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Although that expression is questionable (who wants to catch flies anyhow?) the reasoning is sound, even when buying a used car. You might think arguing and being insufferable will score a better deal when, in reality, it will lead to the seller showing you the door.  Being respectful while still holding your ground is a far more effective tactic.

Don’t ask for a price reduction beforehand

If you’ve ever sold a used car through an eBay-style website, you know how irritating a text that reads: “What’s your bottom price?” can be. A few words of wisdom: see the vehicle first – then haggle. Asking for the bottom line before seeing the car limits your credibility and makes you seem, well, annoying. As a result, the seller may not respond to your inquiry. Then, you won’t get a chance to see the car or bargain for it.

Shop within your means

Shopping for a car that’s outside of your means is a waste of time for both the seller and yourself. Know your budget beforehand; skip the Porsche 911 when you’ve got Kia Rio Money. You don’t want to be one of those “tire kickers” every seller loathes.

Let POMCAR help you obtain a great deal

A pre-purchase inspection is one of the best ways to find what’s wrong with a vehicle. You can leverage this authentic, real time information to identify value.

If you’re in the market for a used car, truck, or SUV don’t take any chances. Shoot us a note at [email protected] to check on tech availability or request that inspection today.

POMCAR is a nationwide provider of used vehicle pre purchase inspections.  We have an extensive network of qualified technicians ready to perform a 270-point inspection and deliver a meaningful report.  Check us out at



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