Many people say they are not good at negotiating when it comes to buying a car. This is partly because people see negotiating as confrontational and they fear conflict. But with a change of perspective and a few simple negotiating tips, you can potentially save thousands of dollars when you buy your first or next car.

Set the ground rules

Before you get drawn into a discussion with the salesperson, you have to do the following:

You have carefully researched the vehicle you want and have already taken a test drive.

You know exactly which trim level and options you want, have researched the price for that configuration, and know what the dealership paid for it.

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You have already calculated what you are prepared to pay. Assure him or her that your offer will include a fair profit.

If he or she can meet your target price you’ll be ready to buy immediately; if not, you intend to visit other dealerships.

Be nice

While car dealers are likely to be friendly and you need to be aware of this, playing hardball and coming across as aloof and standoffish can dent your chances of getting a good deal. Entering into negotiations when buying a car can be compared to an elaborate dance, as you and the dealer work out where the other stands.

Be sure to maintain friendly relations throughout this process, as the better the deal you get, the less money the dealer will make when it comes to bonus time. If they like you, they’re likely to give more ground.—-According to CarBuyer

Don’t rush

It’s all too easy to buy a car in a rush: the alluring nature of a new car can be strong, as can buying motivations like a growing family or a new job. Whatever you do, keep it to yourself if you need a car quickly. No dealer worth their salt will offer much in the way of discounts if they know you want to buy immediately.

Never let the salesperson know your top limit

If you’re a cash buyer, don’t tell the salesperson this straight away. Dealers make bigger profits on finance deals, so let them bargain the car’s price on this basis. You can then decline the finance deal later in the process.

Start off by stating an amount lower than what you’re actually prepared to pay – you can then gradually increase it if necessary.

When you make an offer, don’t speak again until the salesperson replies

Be as positive as possible about your aims. For example, don’t say “Can I have a discount?” Instead, ask “How much discount will you give me?”

Some negotiators start by saying they’re not prepared to pay the price advertised, but remember they ARE there to do a deal!

If you’re struggling to get a discount but you want the car, offer to close the deal there and then if you can both agree a price.

Don’t be afraid to walk out if the dealer isn’t prepared to negotiate or move much on the price.

Follow-up on Saturday or Sunday nights an hour before closing time

Call and ask to speak with the salesperson or manager you’ve spoken to before. Remind them you’re a buyer when they meet your figure, but that they shouldn’t waste your time if they won’t.

If your offer is possible, the opportunity to do one more deal before the end of the day might compel them to work with you … especially if the dealership is having a bad weekend.

Follow-up on days that have had terrible weather

A major snowstorm, a day of wind and rain, etc. can dramatically affect car sales. Call and remind the salesperson or manager that you’re happy to come down when they meet your offer. Again, the fact that they’re not selling cars might get them to bend in your favor.

When is the best time to buy a car?

According to Popular Mechanics, the best time to buy a car is toward the end of every month. You might be able to get a better deal. That’s because a salesmen could be closer to hitting a particular sales threshold and might be more motivated to work for your deal. Sales people earn their commission based on the percentage of the profit of a car sale. But their commission increases when they sell more cars.

If a salesman started at 22 percent for the first eight cars sold, then cars nine and 10 were 24 percent. And it went all the way up to a peak of 30 percent plus an additional $300 per car if a total of 17 cars were sold in that month. So if your salesman is on car 16, he’s really going to nudge the manager to accept your deal. I can tell you that no salesman will take a day off at the end of the month. They are trying to close deals and hit those numbers.

According to Consumer Reports, the end of the year can be a smart time to buy as well because the dealers need to get rid of leftover cars before the new models arrive.