How to Get the Best Price When Buying a Car

The cost-of-living crisis has hit us all heavily, with the Bank of England anticipating an inflation rate of 10% before the end of the year. But the purchase and running costs attributed to cars represent some of the biggest financial burdens on the modern family.

As a result, if you’re on the look-out for a new car at the moment you may be hesitant spend without some serious forethought. But rather than limiting your scope, there are ways you can bring down costs and get the best possible price for your ideal car. Simply consider the following tips:

Buy Used

The simplest solution to bringing down the cost of purchase is to buy second-hand. New cars have a high value attributed to them, and one which is significantly impacted by depreciation after purchase. A new car could lose up to 40% of its value within the first 12 months of purchase, with around 10% depreciation occurring the moment its tyres leave the showroom floor. This is a heavy price to pay for that ‘new car’ smell, and one you can avoid by buying shrewdly.

Second-hand cars, on the other hand, are cheaper in two key ways. Firstly, used cars have already experienced their biggest depreciation in value, making them more affordable than new cars even if they’ve only been on the road for a few months. Secondly, They retain their value better in the long term, meaning you can sell it on without losing too much money further down the line.

Take a Positive Approach

The way in which you approach buying a vehicle can have a surprisingly dramatic effect on your success when it comes to getting a reasonable price. If you are visiting a showroom or private seller with the expectation that they will be difficult on price, you can come off as combative – effectively walling you off from any reasonable progress regarding price. But if you approach a purchase with a genial manner and reasonable approach, sellers are more likely to take a liking to you.

With a polite demeanour, showroom salespersons are more likely to ‘do you a favour’, whether by coming down a little further during price negotiations or throwing in some optional extras to sweeten the deal. Likewise, private sales can benefit from kindness; being approachable makes the transaction smoother, and makes it more difficult for anyone to refuse a good haggle.

Use Alternative Financing Options

Lastly, even haggling can only get you so far when it comes to overall affordability. It may be that the kind of vehicle for which you are in the market is expensive across the board – meaning it is also important to find alternative means of limiting the impact of such a big purchase on your bank balance.

As far as buying from a showroom is concerned, some of the optional extras referred to above could relate to the purchase; the salesperson could offer you a finance agreement with an extended period of interest-free payments, to offset the overall price of the car and prevent your upfront outlay from being so large. With private sellers, though, you could instead approach a bank or alternative lender to seek a loan – which you could then pay off in your own time, spreading the cost and getting you a better model sooner.