How to Negotiate During Private Used Car Sales

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Should I Negotiate When Buying a Used Car from an Individual?

How to Negotiate During Private Used Car Sales

There are several things to remember when buying a used car from an owner. Following are some tips that can help you make the best deal.

Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate.

  • Before you call about an auto for sale by owner, you should have some idea of the market value of the car. You can get this information from NADA used car pricing guides or using Kelley Blue Book values. You can also look in your local paper to see how much similar cars are being sold for in your area.
  • Knowing how much the car is worth can give you a place to negotiate from. This information can also let you know if you are being offered a fair price.
  • The buyer has probably added a little padding to the price in anticipation of bargaining.
  • Be prepared to offer justification, based on your research, for the price you are offering.

If the Asking Price is Above Market Value, Ask Why.

  • If the private owner has made significant upgrades that warrant an asking price above blue book value, ask to see documentation (don't forget to look for dates).

If you can't agree on a price you are comfortable with – be willing to walk away.



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Patricia Walters-Fischer