Asking Price

The asking price is the price that a seller (dealer or private individual) is offering the vehicle for. In short, it is literally the amount they would like to receive in exchange for a vehicle. The asking price may be the final price of the car if the seller is not willing to negotiate. Through negotiations, a used car buyer can try to come to a mutually agreed-upon price with the seller.

Asking Price: Factors to Consider

There are several factors that can affect the asking price for a used car, such as:
  • the make, model, and year of the car
  • the condition of the car, both aesthetically and mechanically
  • the mileage on the car
  • the demand for that specific model and make in the market
  • the car’s features and options, such as a sunroof or navigation system
  • the car’s location and the local market conditions for that type of car
  • the seller’s motivation to sell the car
  • the car’s history, such as any previous accidents or damage
When you’re evaluating if the asking price is reasonable, take note of the factors mentioned above. Additionally, it’s also important to research the prices of similar cars in the local market for comparison.

Tips for Buyers: Negotiating the Asking Price for a Used Car

Prior to negotiations, as a given, you want to look up resources to get an idea of what a fair price for the car should be. You may want to have a vehicle history report, with an estimate of its current market value. Here are some tips for negotiating with a used car dealer or private seller:

Observe these good practices when interacting with the seller

  • Be friendly and professional.
  • Be respectful and courteous.
  • Be honest to ask for a better price if you have a good reason.
  • Be prompt or timely with your communication and offer so that you don’t lose the deal.
  • Be flexible and open to negotiating on other terms aside from the asking price.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand your ground.
  • Don’t let the dealer pressure you into paying more than you’re comfortable with.
  • Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment especially if you want to stick to your budget.

Make a lower initial offer

Start with a lower offer than what you’re willing to pay. This allows room for negotiations and gives the dealer the opportunity to counter. You can always increase your offer if the seller counteroffers, but starting with a low offer gives you room to negotiate. One basis for making a fair offer is the market value of the vehicle.

Have a final offer in mind and be prepared to walk away

Have a final offer that you are comfortable with. If the dealer is not willing to negotiate, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other dealers and cars to choose from. Once you reach this point, you may walk away if the seller can’t meet your price.

More tips for negotiating with a used car dealer:

  • Use the trade-in as leverage: If you’re trading in your old car, make sure you’ve researched its value and use that as leverage for negotiation.
  • Be aware of the add-ons: Be aware of the price of any extra add-ons, like extended warranties or maintenance plans, and negotiate them separately.
  • Be ready to negotiate financing terms: If you’re financing the car, be prepared to negotiate the interest rate, down payment, and other financing terms.