Top 10 tips for getting a good deal from a car dealership

Getting a new car is exciting, but at times it can feel a bit daunting, as you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal and car available. And with dealerships offering a number of different options, things can get overwhelming.

A key thing to remember is whether you’re planning on paying cash, part exchanging your current car or sorting a finance plan, the prices you see at car dealers aren’t fixed and there are ways to get better deals.

If you’re on the lookout for a new car, use our top ten tips below…

  1. Do your research on how best to finance your vehicle before visiting a dealership and decide what the best route to go down is. You can find out more about your different options here.

  2. If you’ve got a specific car in mind, make sure you know the car’s list price before going to look at it in a dealership. Check the manufacturer’s website or have a look at the new car listings at the back of motoring magazines. If you know what the car is worth on the market, you’ll be able to spot a good deal and also if a dealership is trying to mark the price up too much.

  3. If you’re trading a car in as a part exchange make sure you know what it’s worth beforehand. Get your car independently valued so that you know what a garage should be offering for your car. Don’t be afraid to challenge if they come back with a value that doesn’t match what you had in mind.

  4. If your budget is quite tight, go for a car that the dealership has in stock, as this will give you much more haggling room. If the car’s there and ready to drive away, the dealerships will often be more open to making a deal with you and offer a bigger discount.

  5. Try to shop around – locally and nationally. A great start is to have a look online at car dealerships in your area who might be offering deals on the same car. Then once you’ve had a look online, pull together a short list and visit them in person. Remember you don’t always have to stay local either – have a look nationally to see if there are any better deals available. Give dealerships a call and they may be willing to transport a car to you for free to get a deal.

  6. Set aside enough time to do your research and don’t rush things. If you work during the week, set aside a couple of weekends to go have a look around some dealerships. If you don’t have enough time to do your research the danger is that you may just quickly take the first deal offered, even though it might not be the best value.

  7. Don’t give too much away to the dealer and keep them on their toes where possible. A great tactic is to try and make the dealer feel like you could get up and leave at any second. If you can do this, it will make the dealer think that you’re not going to settle for the advertised price and then they’ll be more likely to give you a good deal.

  8. Negotiate confidently and think about how you say things. For example, instead of asking ‘Can I have a discount?’ try and word it ‘How much discount will you give me?’ Also start off saying an amount lower than what you’re prepared to pay. If you’re struggling to get a discount and still want the car – offer to close the deal there and then if you can both agree a price.

  9. If after you’ve tried your hardest to negotiate on the cost of the car you can’t get the dealer to budge, ask if they’d consider adding in some other extras instead. Ask if you could get a free service or any extras that you’d really like on the car. If you’re taking out a finance plan through the dealership, you’ll often be tied to having your car serviced there, so if you can get them to throw this in you could save yourself hundreds of pounds.

  10. Check what you can realistically borrow by doing an eligibility check before applying for finance. This will help you avoid affecting your credit score with unnecessary credit checks and also give you a realistic idea of what you can borrow. Noddle customers can do this for free through our Loan Matcher.

We hope you find these tips useful for your hunt for a new car. You can find more information about whether a new, used or nearly new car would be best for you here.