negotiating car prices

How to Negotiate Used Car Prices Like a Pro

Whether you plan on buying a car from an auction, dealership or private party, there are some simple ways you can save money. It’s worth it to negotiate the price of a vehicle because cars depreciate quickly. After three years, the average car is worth about 60 percent of what it was when it was new. 

However, negotiating the price of a used car isn’t as easy as it once was. This industry has changed dramatically with online shopping. Car shoppers can now look at various websites and compare the numbers, so dealerships offer up some of their best prices.

While dealerships may not be as interested in negotiating prices, banks and credit unions are. They are highly motivated sellers who are often willing to come down in price. Here are some auction tips for negotiating used car prices. 

Know the Numbers 

Educate yourself on the current market value of the vehicle you’re interested in. You can find this information in Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. Knowing the current pricing will give you confidence in your negotiations and prevent you from overpaying.

Choose the Right Auction

Search for “open” or “public” auctions that don’t require a dealer’s license. Other specialty auctions sell limited types of vehicles, such as those old cop cars you see on the road. RepoFinder has the largest inventory of bank repos in America, so you’ll definitely see a lot more than government-looking cars. 

You can usually attend public auctions for free, though if you want to place a bid, you’ll have to pay a fee. These fees can add up, but a RepoFinder Pro membership is just $4.95 a month. In addition to cars, pickup trucks and SUVs, we also have boats, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs and more. And no, you do NOT need a dealer’s license to buy them. 

Talk to the Seller Directly 

Depending on the type of auction you’re bidding in, you may be able to message the seller directly. Remember, banks are highly motivated sellers that want to get repossessed vehicles off their lot. By getting in touch with them and asking questions, you’ll feel better about placing a bid and they’ll be more open to working out a deal with you. 

Inspect the Vehicle 

Most auctions give you the opportunity to inspect the vehicle before taking it home. You probably won’t get to test drive it but you can still sit in the car, start it and even put it into gear. We also recommend getting a vehicle inspection report and reviewing all images that the seller provides. If there are things you are concerned with, you can let the seller know and use this in your negotiations. 

If you’re looking for a great deal on a used vehicle, RepoFinder has an extensive list of repo vehicles. Many of our vehicles are new and in great condition, and our sellers are highly motivated. Find something you love and place your bid today!