How to beat the dealer

In the market for a new car? Want to avoid paying the screen price? Then get honing your haggling skills as there are some serious savings to be made – up to a third in some cases.
car salesman
WhatCar?’s Target Price research has revealed the biggest new car discount in Britain is for a BMW 7 Series, which had a whopping £18,650 knocked off the list price.

Picking the right make and model

However, this 31% saving wasn’t bagged by haggling alone. The 7 Series in question is about to be replaced by a brand-new facelift model, and is one of several BMWs where you can currently get a double-digit discount. For instance, researchers were able to get a £10,719 discount on a £63,130 BMW 640d SE, and a £2,056 saving on a BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics with a list price of £28,775. And Beamers aren’t the only make on which huge savings can be made – Volvos have the biggest average discounts (14.7%), followed by Renaults (13.6%) and then BMWs (13.2%). The average dealer discount is currently at a 12-month high of 10.3%.

Biggest discounts by car type

WhatCarTable
Figures from WhatCar? Target Price research

How to haggle

You need to arm yourself with knowledge and tactics if you’re to have any chance of talking the dealer down…
  • Do your homework – once you’re clear on the type of car you’re after, go to online price guides and auction sites to get a rough idea of how much they’re going for.
  • Don’t pay the screen price – even if this falls within your budget, try to talk the dealer down from the screen price. Don’t let them know straight away the maximum you can afford, but once you do, don’t budge.
  • Try to be a cash buyer – this doesn’t mean you have to hand wads of cash over to the dealer – a bank transfer will do the trick – but if you pay by credit card there’s a good chance you’ll be charged an additional payment fee.
  • Be set in your mind – know exactly what car you’re after and don’t be persuaded into paying more than you can afford. Even if you pay just a little over what you’d planned to get a more desirable model, this can impact you further down the line through higher insurance, servicing and depreciation costs.
  • Be prepared to walk away – If the deal isn’t right for you and you can’t reach a compromise, don’t be afraid to walk away. Even if you miss out this time, you will find the right car at the right price.
  • Ask for extras – if you don’t feel confident enough to get a price drop, try to haggle some extras instead, such as a tank of petrol, stereo upgrade, alloy wheels or metallic paint.
[embed width="600" height="355"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diqr9oegF40[/embed] Have you got any tips or tricks to beat the dealer? Let us know...
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