How to negotiate when buying a new car

You get in this life what you negotiate, so be prepared to haggle if you want to get the best possible deal.

Any dealer will always leave themselves some margin to haggle; if you just pay the sticker price, they’ve made a bit more profit than they expected to and you’re out of pocket more than you need to be. You should be able to chip a bit off the asking price of any new car, although how much of a discount you can secure will depend on the vehicle’s value and what badge it wears.

Be prepared to haggle if you want to get the best possible deal

Prestige marques tend not to offer many discounts, but with the right timing you should be able to get something out of the dealer – even if it’s just a free tank of fuel.

Whatever the asking price of the new car, offer a reasonable amount less – something like £500. It may be that you’re offered more than this anyway, as some volume brands will volunteer a hefty discount just to get you interested.

This should still only be a starting point for negotiations though, and once you’ve pitched in with your £500 discount request, prepare to meet the salesman part-way. You may end up closer to his initial figure than your own, but as long as you knock him down a bit, you’ll have achieved your aim.

Because the margins on new cars can be very slim (many dealers make their money from servicing and parts), you may struggle to get any sort of a discount. If this is the case, ask about a couple of free services, or an accessory or two. A salesman is unlikely to let a sale fall through just because of a £100 extra.