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Top tips: how to get the best deal

  • The best ways of getting money off your next new car
  • Go for extras and choose the right time to buy
  • Never be afraid to leave a dealership without buying

Do your research

Before you go to the dealership know what car you want and how much you want to spend. Find out if discounts are available on the car you are after and check for other manufacturer offers or deals.

Shop around

Check the internet for deals: online brokers such as Broadspeed and Motorpoint will give you an idea of what you should be paying for the car you are after. Check our reviews for prices. 

Call ahead

Once you have identified a dealer that has a car you are after ring in advance and get an idea of the discounts they are offering. The chances are they may just say no because you aren't physically in the dealership and are they less likely to negotiate but it's worth a try and if you do get a yes, you can negotiate and even greater discount when you get there.

Decide on your specification

It's important to know what kind of spec you want. If you don't the dealer could try to push you into a lower-spec car for the same money. If you are smart you could even try to get a higher-spec car for your original budget.

'Special offers' are not always special

Most dealerships will be trying to talk up their 'special offers', but don't be too hasty because the promotion on offer might not be as good as the discount you could have negotiated. It's easy to get seduced by 'too good to be true' offers.

Start at low opening price

Now you've decided on the car that you want, make an offer. The key thing here is to put in a lower offer that you would be willing to pay. Don't worry if you think it's insulting the dealer - it's your first offer and if you have left room for negotiation they'll know you are prepared to compromise.  

Extras

Salespeople are pretty flexible when it comes to optional extras. If they appear happy with the deal they'll be receptive if you ask for a better stereo system or sunroof for no extra cost.

Right time to buy

One of the best times to buy is just before the next registration plate change because anything on the previous registration quickly becomes undesirable and dealers will want to offload them quickly. It doesn't hurt to remind the dealer of this.

Also consider models that are being replaced because you can pick up a bargain. If a manufacturer is set to bring out a new version of an existing model then dealers will want to get rid of these older versions. This is where good research helps.

Extra fees

Don't forget the extra fees such as administration fees and delivery charges. The dealer might try to add these on top without you realising until you've signed the dotted line. If they insist you pay the extras try to get discounts on servicing or even finance.

Time to go

Never be afraid to leave the showroom empty-handed. If negotiations with the dealer are going nowhere and there's little chance of striking the deal you are after then walk away: there'll be other chances elsewhere.