Haggling may not come naturally for most people. But if you want fair market prices on your next car purchase, you’d better start practicing. Most dealers set a pretty high screen price just to be ready for discounts. And if you don’t bargain, they make a killing off of your hard earned money. However, you could shave a couple of hundred off your car purchase with these tips and tricks – even if you have zero haggling experience.

Do your research

The first thing to do when considering to buy a car is research. Know the average price range of your dream auto and also have a budget. That way, you’ll know exactly when its time to walk away.

There are so many ways to do research. The most common one being visiting sites like Auto trader and Car Cost Canada. They usually have several offers for your particular vehicle, and you might even find a favorable screen price to work with.

Make a low first offer

Whatever you do, don’t let the salesperson know how much you are willing to spend on the auto. Try to low ball, but do it in a friendly and polite way. This bargaining technique will send a strong message to the dealer that you are a savvy buyer. After making the offer, do not say anything else. Just look the dealer straight in the eyes and be confident. Whoever cracks first loses the haggling game.

Don’t let them know if you are a cash buyer straight away

Dealers make extra money selling finance packages to car buyers. And it’s only natural for them to try and push these services your way. The trick here is to let the dealer price the car on that basis first, then decline the finance package and see what they’ll offer for a cash purchase. Also, be assertive when asking for the discount – instead of asking, “will you offer me a discount? Try, “how much discount are you offering?”

Be prepared to walk away

Some dealers have a hard nose. They just won’t budge after giving a tiny discount. But if you really want their car, the idea is to keep the conversation going and also take that test drive. After that, table your final offer and threaten to walk away if they refuse to give in. Chances are, the dealer will not want to lose a client who they have invested time and also offered a test drive – it looks bad on their end. So they might end up taking your offer.


The best time to buy a car is near the end month, most salespeople have targets to meet and are somewhat desperate to exceed them. So, there’s a chance you might bump into a dealer on a slow month and get a crazy discount.