How To Negotiate Car Price When Paying Cash – If you’re shopping for a car, you may be wondering whether it makes sense to pay cash for a new or used car. The answer is probably – there are advantages and disadvantages.
Read on to learn more, but here’s the big takeaway: If you decide to pay cash for the car, it’s very important to wait to tell the dealer. You may end up paying more for the car if you state how you will pay early in your negotiation.
How To Negotiate Car Price When Paying Cash
Yes, you can pay cash for a new or used car. However, when buying a car, the broader point is that you don’t finance the car loan for the purchase. Instead, you can issue a cashier’s check or arrange for a wire transfer from your bank. A dealership is unlikely to accept a personal check or credit card as payment for a vehicle on its lot.
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However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean you have to pay cash for the car. There are many factors to consider and everyone’s financial situation is different.
But before we discuss the pros and cons of using cash for a car, let’s discuss why dealership salespeople don’t always like the word “cash.” A cash sale for a dealership may result in loss of commissions on car loans or extras such as accessories and extended warranties.
For example, once a cash buyer negotiates the price of a car, it is less likely to include accessories and other extras because those items can significantly increase the buyer’s profit. On the other hand, if the same customer takes out a payday loan, add-ons and accessories will only increase their monthly bill slightly. Generally, the dealer charges about 1% of the value of the loan – for example, a fee of about $300 on a $30,000 loan.
But there are good reasons to pay cash for your next new or used car. We’ll take a look at those reasons in our pros and cons below. In the meantime, remember three important tips for paying cash before visiting a dealer’s showroom.
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Before you buy a new car, you should do your homework — including the sticker price, invoice, incentives if applicable, your trade-in value and loan interest agreements.
Calculate what you would have to pay for that new car. Again, don’t tell the salesperson that you plan to pay cash before the conversation. To make up for the profit from not selling accessories and extended warranties and not working on the loan, the dealership may raise the price of the car by more than $1,000. A great way to address it is, “I don’t know if I’ll pay cash or finance this car until I hear all the options.”
When deciding whether to use cash to pay for a new or used car or to finance your purchase, weigh your options and spread the monthly payments over several years. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach, but the primary consideration is your personal finances and whether you can or want to significantly withdraw from your savings for another vehicle.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published. Rick Krantz contributed to the report.
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Chris Hardesty is a senior consulting editor at Cox Automotive. He edits and writes articles for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, advising consumers on the financial aspects of buying and selling cars, educating buyers about the safety features of today’s vehicles, and sharing maintenance and ownership tips. Chris has spent nearly three decades in newspapers, including leading research departments… Read more about Chris Hardesty
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If you want to get a better deal on a car, it’s best to prepare yourself with negotiating tactics.
If you’re ready to buy a new or used car, it’s important to walk away from the sale knowing you got a good price. But you may not know how to successfully negotiate the price of your car. Fortunately, negotiating a car’s price isn’t too difficult – as long as you understand the process and how it works.
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When you’re shopping for a car, you’ll need to do some research before starting the negotiation process. You’ll want to read everything you can about the average price you’ll pay for the car you’re buying. (If you have one, you’ll want to check the value of your trade-in.)
You can estimate the value of any car by adding its information to a website that tracks and evaluates car values, such as Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds. This will help you determine the approximate average price range in your area. Once you have a better idea of value, you can set an ideal target price for the car you are buying.
In some cases, the particular time of day, week, month or year can affect the price you pay for your car. Learn more about the best time to buy a new car here.
When you are ready to negotiate the price of the car, remember that the goal of the transaction is to get the best deal. It can be easy to get attached to a particular car or feel like investing too much in a custom deal, but take emotion out of the equation.
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If not, you may end up with a sub-optimal selling price. Always be prepared to walk away if you don’t get a fair price for the car you’re thinking of.
Also, try not to pressure the car dealer. If you’re prepared for the hard sell, you’re less likely to fall prey to it.
Once you are armed with pricing information, you can begin negotiating with the car dealer or other seller. Unfortunately, the ideal way to negotiate is not the same for you and the dealer.
Dealers want to focus on the entire transaction, including the price of the vehicle, trade-in value, financing, and optional purchases. This allows dealerships to make money in other areas and give more in one area.
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Negotiating the price of a car this way can be dangerous, especially if you focus on the monthly payment rather than the total value of the car. The dealer may agree to lower your monthly payment by extending the loan term, but this could leave you in debt for longer than planned and paying more interest. So if you focus on one aspect, like the monthly payment, rather than the whole picture, you could end up paying more for your car.
If the dealer insists on doing it their way, be polite but firm about what you want. If they don’t want to work with you, find a dealer that will.
When negotiating a car price, make sure you’re negotiating the final price you’ll pay to drive the car off the lot, commonly known as the “drive-away” or “out-the-door” price.
Tell the dealer that you will only work with an outside number, and that it should include all fees, sales tax, and other costs that you will pay. If the dealer tries to give you a different number
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