How to Negotiate Used Car Price

Buying a used car is a step-by-step process. It is worth taking a few minutes to review these steps and make sure your deal is a good one. The final step is negotiating the price; although some may be embarrassed to even ask for a discount. But why should that be embarrassing?

You can't compare buying a used car to buying, say, a piece of furniture. You may ask why you should bargain when buying a car if, in any other case, you just pay exactly what the label says. The reason is that it is more difficult to establish the real value of a second-hand car compared to a brand-new item. And speaking of cars, it's even more difficult.

Cars of a certain model were sold in different showrooms and several versions, then they were used by different drivers on different roads, the cars could be driven different distances and finally, they were serviced in different salons, which could be both better and worse. As a result, the value of two identical models purchased from the same dealership will be vastly different after just a few years.

The Real Value of a Used Car

As you cannot determine the real value of a used car based on simple indicators, the market will do the job. Simply put, the car is worth as much as the seller can get for it. The seller states the price he (or she) would like to get, but you are more looking out for your interests than the sellers. Also, remember that professional dealers tend to negotiate the price of used cars with their clients, so they often offer a higher initial price because they expect you to try to lower it as well. That's one reason why you should make some effort and try to pay less if you are buying a second-hand car - there's no shame in such negotiations.

Preparation: How how to negotiate a used car price?

Before you start negotiating, make a list of as many of the arguments for lowering the price as you can. It is best to start by researching the model you would like to buy. Check typical faults, how many miles they are and what costs they cause, so you can get a discount on future repair costs once you've had a chance to check the car's condition and check the service book. Also, check out similar offers - this may be the easiest way to convince the seller. Chances are, the seller will decide it's better to give a discount and sell the car than to let you move on to a competitor.

At the point of purchase, ask for a test drive and make sure you can examine the car in detail. There will always be some flaws, minor or major, that can be used to get a discount.

Tips on How to Negotiate the Price of a Used Car

Be sure to try to lower the price of such a vehicle by offering the manager your price for it. How to negotiate a used car price at a dealership? This is not the case. All dealers are ready to consider any offers from their customers. It is especially actual these days when the car market is in a stage of certain stagnation.

Offer the manager the following at once, namely, that you are willing to buy a car from them if the price is reduced by 15 - 25 thousand dollars. Very often the management of the car dealership willingly goes to such proposals.

How Not to Overpay When Buying a New Car? 

Such an aggressive negotiating strategy can help you save a significant amount of money when purchasing a car. But always remember that for such a strategy you need some time, because you should not immediately offer the manager the price for which you want to buy their car.

Offer your conditions only after you have visited this very salon several times and tell the manager (the main thing is that the manager was the same who communicated with you during your first visit) that you were not only in their salon, but you also visited their competitors, who have prices for the cars not higher than theirs.

If you want to buy a used car in the showroom, then feel free to ask for a discount of 10 to 15%, as the dealer has purchased the vehicle at a price below the market price (trade-in program or just a buy-back). If you try to make such offers directly to dealers, you have a good chance of getting a good discount on the purchase of the car.

Of course, you can always simply agree with the car’s announced price which may satisfy you, but what will it give you? After all, by offering the manager your price for the car you have nothing to lose in principle, but can, on the contrary, only gain.

What Do You Need to Pay Attention to?

Key features of the conversation:

  • If it has been less than six months since the last owner bought it, there are probably a lot of problems with that car.
  • It is possible that the seller just urgently needs money, but it is still not worth taking the risk.
  • If the seller is hesitant to answer, rushing to finish the conversation, the seller may not have all the information, meaning he is either acting under power of attorney or is an intermediary.
  • If the salesperson specifies the brand of the car, they have difficulty in mentioning the mileage or the color of the car, they are an intermediary.

What Questions to Ask?

During the meeting, ask the same questions that were asked on the phone, paying attention to the discrepancies in the answers and marking them in the questionnaire. Small discrepancies may be the result of the owner's inattention and ignorance of the year of manufacture or the cause of the dent in the bodywork may be the consequence of a quick resale of the car. Attention should be paid if:

  1. Unauthorized people coming along with the seller, trying to convince them of the right choice. They often distract from the important issues by focusing on the positive aspects.
  2. The seller categorically refuses to have the car inspected. The technical condition of such a vehicle is probably not as stated.
  3. The seller claims that the car is in excellent technical condition but offers it at a low price. There is a good chance that this car is rebuilt after an accident.

If You Like the Car

Even if you like the car, you should not yet agree to buy it. The first step is to:

  • Arrange for a technical inspection of the car. Diagnostics at a technical center will give you a final opinion on the condition of all parts of the car and estimate the cost of repairing it after purchase.
  • Negotiating a price on a used car you need to start a test drive during which the buyer will hear the engine’s sound, understand the condition of the suspension, determine the condition of the braking system.

One Last Piece of Advice

Finding and buying a used car can be a difficult job, especially because you are investing in a vehicle that may have hidden damage. These damages later, when repaired, will cost you a lot of money. You should be very careful with your research and inspections if you are determined to buy a used car. It would be a good idea to seek advice from car experts who can give you the right direction in buying a used car. They can also help you find trusted car dealers as they offer quality cars and reasonable prices and terms.

An Obvious Bargaining Chip

Finally, all sorts of options and small parts. The obvious reason for bargaining is the defects, with which a car cannot pass an internal service and registration procedure. It is not a sin to ask for a discount for replacing roaring exhaust, cracked windshield, broken or not working optics. In the last case, of course, we are not talking about haggling for a hundred dollars for a broken bulb, but about a dead LED light, which is replaced as a whole and does not cost three kopecks. This investment is waiting for the new owner immediately after purchase.

The bargain for not working "frills" depends primarily on the age of the purchase. Everything must work on a fresh car, elderly one will be allowed to have defects in this part. Also, take into account the degree of importance of defects. For example, if there is no air conditioner, the dead windows are a big problem, and you will have to solve it at once. It will be right to concede the price for such a thing. Buying a new or used car is not an easy task. There are many different factors to consider that can directly influence the correctness of your choice.

Used Cars for Sale at Rolls Auto Sales

So why not trust this business to professionals of Rolls auto sales, which clearly and transparently will help deal with complex issues related to the exchange or sale of a car with used parts. The main thing is your desire to change everything for the better, including your vehicle. Rolls auto sales dealers and service partners, for their part, will competently help you to make such changes most comfortably.

Rolls Auto sales demonstrate unique experience in the used car market, high customer service standards, excellent technical and external condition of cars. Rolls Auto sales take care of customers’ safety and professional satisfaction in the area of buying, selling, exchanging, financing, insuring, and servicing used cars. The company has been investing in the safety and culture of the American used car market since its inception.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to negotiate a used car price at a dealership

How much will a dealership come down on price on a used car?

As a rule, used car dealers reduce the price of the average car up to six times. 

Can you haggle used car price at dealerships?

It all depends on the seller; sometimes you can negotiating for used cars at a lower price if there is an urgent need to sell. However, it is usually difficult to persuade the seller. In that case, it may be possible to find damage to the car and lower the price. 

How much can you negotiate on a used car?

As much as the situation allows, the main thing is not to overdo it but to leave it to the professionals. 

What should you not say when buying a used car?

What you shouldn't say to a salesperson when inspecting or buying a used car:

  • "This is my favorite brand" 
  • "I don't know much about cars" 
  • "I don't trust used car salesmen" 
  • "My credit history is not that good"
Legal Notes for

This article is a set of legal notes from, an automotive website that strived to help customers find used vehicles, provide a financial center, payment calculator, etc.

These articles on the website are for educational and informational purposes only. The material in the article is distributed without profit to further propagate this information, which is appreciated and helps readers understand car selling more effectively.

The view in the article does not necessarily reflect the author's opinion. This site is not liable for the potential damages, lost profits, or any other losses of any kind caused by your reliance on the information in this article. is only the author of these articles and is not in any way affiliated with the manufacturer or service provider mentioned. All trademarks are property of their respective owners and are mentioned as examples. Privacy and Terms policy: