There are some people who will tell you that you should never go to a new car dealership (you know, the big ones that are affiliated with a manufacturer) if you are in the market for a used car. Their argument typically revolves around a single point: price. Their firm belief is that new car dealerships markup their vehicles more than used car dealerships and private sellers. And, thus, no one should buy a used car from them. While it is often true that you can expect to pay more for a used car at a new car dealership, there are reasons why you might consider doing so. To recap another post we wrote, new car dealerships generally offer a certain level of quality, convenience, and service that is impossible for private sellers to offer and much more difficult for smaller used car dealerships to provide.
How to get that deal But despite what some will have you believe, it is possible to get a good deal on a used car from a new car dealership. Dealerships essentially lose money every day that a car sits on the lot and, if the conditions are right, the dealership might be just as interested in selling the car to free up capital and space for another one as they are in holding out for the best sale. For most people it will be really hard to try to figure out how exactly to determine which cars the dealership is eager to sell. But there is one tactic that I do tell some people to try: once you know the pre-owned car you want, try to find one at another brand’s dealership. For example, if you know that you want a Volkswagen Jetta, see if you can find one at a Ford, Kia, or any other dealership besides a Volkswagen dealership.
Why it works If you can find that Jetta at another brand’s dealership you have a little better chance of getting a great deal because there is obviously less demand for Volkswagens at Ford dealerships. When people are in the market for a Jetta they don’t go to the Kia dealership and when people are shopping at the Kia dealership there is a much smaller chance that they want a Volkswagen. The laws of supply and demand can really work in your favor here. If you see that a new car dealership is carrying another manufacturer’s car, you can really try to exercise your negotiation skills to get the price down. This is especially true if you have been doing research over a period of time and know that one of these vehicles has been on the dealer’s lot for a couple of weeks or longer.
It’s all about options To be fair, this is not a guaranteed way for you to get a great deal and you should not forego all of the other advice on this blog to use this tactic. Rather, this article really is meant to encourage you to check out other manufacturers’ dealerships so that you don’t accidentally miss out on a good opportunity. Car buying is most empowering and easiest when you give yourself the most options to work with.