What’s a good price for a used car?

Used car dealers rarely price their cars fairly. The objective is to sell the used car at the highest possible margin taking into account not only their initial capital outlay for the car, but also costs of repair and maintenance that have been incurred. Part of the other costs that need to be defrayed include the salesperson’s commissions as well as fixed costs such as rent, salaries for other staff and even advertising. Therefore while it is possible that the prices asked may be higher than you have expected, you also have to understand that the used car dealer is in business to make a profit; as with any other kind of sales business.

However this is not to say that you should accept the price that is quoted to you. In almost all instances, there is always a “special price” that the used car salesperson will be willing to get you “if you make the decision now”. That price is much better that what was first stated, but there are even better prices awaiting you if you know how to ask.

Do not hesitate to use whatever visible flaws you see in the car, whether on its body or engine as your bargaining chips to get a better price for the car. After all, what is the salesperson going to do? Say no? If that is the case, just take a walk to the shop down the road for better options.

Jun 17th, 2011