Negotiating with a car dealer

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How to negotiate with a dealer

How to buy a car from a dealer?

It is easy to say that you won’t pay what a dealership is asking for, for a specific car, but negotiating with the dealer to accept a lower price is something else entirely and can be a daunting task for any individual.


It can be a pressuring activity to negotiate with a car dealer but by following these tips you can make the best choice for yourself.


When you are sure you know what the right car for you is, your first step should be to do some homework on the vehicle itself.


Know how much the car you are interested in is worth and what people are willing to pay for the vehicle. You can easily complete a vehicle valuation to receive a true and fair price a car.


You can do this by simply checking a car registration with MyVehicle. By knowing this information you can leverage it to your advantage when bargaining with the dealership as every dealer will want your business.


Once you know exactly what the car in question is worth and it is in your price range you should set out a floor, usually between 5 and 15% lower than the average selling price, and a ceiling price, the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay for the vehicle knowing what the value of it is.


The dealership will always try and convince you to spend more money on the car than your maximum limit and probably won’t accept your floor offer. The prices of cars are anything but concrete so you can almost always get it for a better price than what the dealership is asking for.


We recommend that you ask the dealer for a straight sale price and a separate price if you were to trade in your current vehicle against the vehicle that you are interested in.


It is a good idea to get a car valuation from MyVehicle so that you have a price in mind that you can tell the dealer you were hoping to achieve.


It is also worth your while to ask the dealership if they are an Approved MyVehicle dealership. This means that they must provide a minimum of 3 months warranty on the vehicle, regardless of age and price, provide a receipt as proof of purchase and they must have completed a full MyVehicle History and Finance Check on the vehicle.


Before you decide to purchase a car or make any deal with a dealership it’s important for a consumer to know that cars previous history so make sure you do a car history check on the car.


When negotiating it is important to be armed with at much information as possible as knowledge is power. This will help you avoid buying a car with potential future problems and the cost of the report is a fraction of the repair cost.


Negotiating with a car dealer


A comprehensive Irish history check includes information you can use as a bargaining tool. To get a MyVehicle report you can simply visit our website at and enter the vehicles registration number.

  • Always ask if the vehicle has a service history and if it does, check to see if the vehicle has been serviced regularly. If the vehicle does not have a full-service history, this can assist in negotiating the price down
  • Do your research to see if the vehicle you are interested in purchasing is an old model, facelift model or current model, as this can have a major impact on a vehicle value. This information is available in a MyVehicle report under Additional Info
  • If the road tax is on the high tax band, this may also assist you in negotiating the price down, as the majority of consumers tend to opt for vehicles that fall under the low tax band. This information is available in a MyVehicle report under NCT & Road Tax
  • Always ask if the vehicle has a spare key, as this can be costly and the dealer may reduce the price to accommodate for this
  • If the vehicle has a large number of owners, this can affect the vehicle’s value, so bare this in mind when negotiating with the dealer. This information is available in a MyVehicle report under Owners
  • If the vehicle has been in the dealer’s stock for some time, this may assist you in negotiating. This information is available in a MyVehicle History Check under the vehicle Purchased date and sale history
  • Do your homework as if the vehicle current mileage/kilometres is above the average for the specific vehicle, this again may assist in negotiating the price down. This information is available in a MyVehicle report under Mileage Readings.

And when you feel like you can’t negotiate any more or you have gotten the best price you can get, you can try to get the dealerships to throw in little extras for you or add-ons. This could include extended warranties, free services for your car or extra wipers! To get a MyVehicle report simply visit our website at


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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