Dealerships exist not only to sell cars, but to sell them for a profit. They expect customers to haggle the price, which is why the markups on vehicles exist. Anyone that walks into a dealership and does not haggle is not playing "the pricing game" smartly. In addition to markups on the price of new cars, prices on used cars are often marked up too. If you are going to get a good deal on a used car, you need to haggle. Here is why.
The Dealer Already Knows What He/She Will Settle For
The minute a customer says that he or she wants this used Chevrolet for sale over here or that used GMC for sale over there, the dealer is already thinking about the profit margin. The profit margin is the difference between the value of the vehicle in its current condition and the asking price. You could haggle the price down from the asking price to anything above the fair market value. What remains is the profit margin for the dealer and the dealership.
Since the dealer knows what the car or truck is worth, he/she also knows what he/she is willing to sell it for. It is you who has to figure out the magic number. Sometimes you can use the very direct approach and ask the dealer what the very lowest amount on the sale price is, and he or she will tell you.
Used Cars, Especially Much Older Cars with Higher Mileage, Are Not Typically Valued as High
Okay, so take a ten-year-old vehicle with over 130,000 miles on it and peruse Kelly Blue Book (otherwise known as the "automotive Bible") to see what the car is really worth. Do you really want to pay more than the estimated value of this used car? Probably not. You could possibly buy two of the exact same make, model, and mileage for the asking price of one of these vehicles, depending on the dealership. Talk the dealer down, and both of you will get something out of it that is both fair and reasonable for the two of you.
Used Vehicles May Not Have Warranties
Used cars typically do not have any warranties or guarantees left. That is why you can buy one for a great price. Unfortunately, if you have some mechanical issues with the vehicle within the first few months to a year, the expense to fix it is your own. If you talk the sale price down on the vehicle, the money you save on its purchase can go toward fixing any problems you may encounter in the future.