How to Negotiate Car Offers

There’s something about a great deal that puts a spring in your step. Particularly when it comes to expensive purchases like cars, it’s important to have good negotiation skills and be confident in your own judgment. Here’s how to negotiate┬ácar offers with complete peace of mind.

1. Know what the car is worth. Do some research before approaching the seller. The TRED instant estimate tool, can tell you what your car is worth in seconds.

2. Remember what you’re happy to pay. Decide on three figures before you begin negotiations – the lowest price you’re likely to achieve (best case scenario), the sum you’re prepared to hand over (most realistic scenario), and the top price you will pay (worst case scenario). Bear these in mind during the conversation.

Negotiate a Car Offer at the End of the Month

3. Negotiate at the end of the month. If you’re buying from a salesperson rather than a private seller, conduct negotiations a few days before the end of the month. They’ll be ultra-keen to hit targets and are more likely to give you a good offer on a vehicle.

4. Negotiating can be fun! Think of it as a game – it will help dispel your nerves.

5. “Are you flexible on price?” The vast majority of the time, the answer will be: “Yes.” By working out what the seller really wants for the car, you know where you should pitch your offer. For example, if they say between $15,000 and $12,000 and definitely no lower than $11,000, it’s more than likely that if you waited for a few days and offered slightly more than $11,000, the car would be yours. Of course, this is a risky strategy that could end with someone else buying the car, but it might just work out in your favor.

6. Give the impression you’re close to the top end of your budget. Increase your offer for the vehicle by smaller amounts each time. An experienced seller (or someone who’s good at math) will see what’s happening, sense that you’re about to hit your limit and accept the offer.

7. Let them come to you. If you’re not confident about negotiating or genuinely have no flexibility when it comes to payment, then make an offer and leave it to the seller to decide. You might never hear from them again, so don’t stop searching for your next car!

Negotiate Car Offers Like a Game of Chess

8. Negotiating isn’t conflict. Don’t bargain with someone whose chief technique is intimidation. If you’re not comfortable, walk away – there are other cars.

9. Fees and service charges are included. The seller should understand that the price you’re offering includes fees and service charges (but not government sales taxes). This way, you won’t be hit with hidden extras when it’s time to sign.

10. Get extras in writing. If repairs or replacements are required, get it in writing. If you’ve been promised two keys, get it in writing. Make sure everything that has been agreed has been carried out satisfactorily, then sign the contract.

11. Be polite. No one wants to negotiate with someone who’s aggressive or rude. They’re more likely to be inflexible or could even walk away from the deal altogether. Buying a car is a business transaction, but a little charm never hurt anybody!


If you’d rather not negotiate car offers, but you still want a great deal, TRED is the perfect option for you. All negotiations are carried out online with our own bidding tool. You make an offer using the TRED app, hit the ‘Send’ button, and wait to see the seller’s counter-offer. When the seller approves your offer, they select ‘Accept’ and just like that you’ve got a new car! We handle the paperwork and financial matters, all you have to do is receive your vehicle.

If you’d like to find out more information about what we do at TRED, check out our website. Or, message a member of our team via email or online chat!

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