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How to Negotiate with Pushy Dealers

For many, the negotiation stage when purchasing a new car is one of the most dreaded parts of the whole process. While the prospect of securing a brand new vehicle should be an exciting time, the big ‘dance’ that comes before it is not always viewed so favourably.

What’s more, just as you might need some time to come to a decision, you will probably have various dealers in your ear trying to close a deal. And in the current economic climate, where dealers are seeing far fewer leads come through, you might just have some extra attention diverted your way, which believe it or not, could actually be a good thing!

However, to leverage that to your advantage, you need to know how to negotiate with pushy dealers. Let’s take a look at the ways you can keep on top of things.

Keep an eye out for last minute changes

One of the things you should avoid during the inspection and negotiation process is displaying any sort of ‘emotional’ investment in the vehicle. By that we mean, any sort of bond that implies you would pay over the odds for that vehicle just to secure it, for example, if stock is limited.

If you do show some connection to the vehicle, don’t be surprised if you are informed very late into the process that the dealer is no longer able to offer you that model at the price that was discussed. Alternatively, you may even be presented with additional costs, or you might be upsold extras under the guise that the dealer is losing money on the deal.

If it gets to this point, what you need to do in this instance is stand your ground. Indicate that you have already reached the upper limit of your budget, or negotiate to offset the ‘new’ expenses by lowering your offer on the car itself. You may have shown your hand too early, so this really is your only option. If it means starting your hunt for a car all over again, it might well be worth it.


Keep timing on your terms

A common tactic among dealers is to run negotiations according to their schedules. Sure, you can only expect things to happen during normal hours, but here it is more a case of the transaction being rushed or stalled. You might get told a certain vehicle you are interested in is the last one remaining. This is a tactic to add time pressure to your decision. Conversely, the dealer might need to speak to their manager, dragging things out but ultimately keeping them in control of the deal.

Take charge by letting the dealer know the timeline you are working with. Don’t deviate from that schedule. If you feel as though you are being rushed, advise the dealer you will not purchase anything without further research. If you feel the deal is being delayed, make sure you use any waiting time to continue your car hunt elsewhere.

Keep a lid on it

When you enter the showroom, dealers will need to try gauge what sort of person they are dealing with from your personality as well as the info that you reveal about yourself. This is what they will use to help frame their negotiations. That means you should minimise exactly what you reveal, or at least, in the early stages of your search. For example, you don’t want to talk about trade-ins or 0% financing right off the bat, otherwise you can forget about having maximum scope to negotiate the retail price of the car. If you lay out all your cards on the table, it becomes harder to walk back from that later on and ultimately come away with the best deal. So if there is a lesson here, only reveal your cards one by one, as negotiations progress.


Above everything else, the most important thing you can do is to maintain your composure. Be decisive when it comes to communicating what you need to get the deal over the line. Buyers have even more bargaining power right now amid the industry slowdown in leads and new car sales, so don’t be afraid to continue looking for a dealer who is prepared to do the most for you.

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