Buying a Car? Then Haggling is Probably a Good Idea

Oct 03

Buying a Car? Then Haggling is Probably a Good Idea

Recession continues and, even though we see more and more symptoms of economic recovery, recent research shows than more than six out of ten people across the UK successfully haggled over the price of their last car. Eight out of ten got a reduction on the sale price, three out of ten managed to get themselves more extras, like special paint or alloys, and nearly one in ten negotiated an extended warranty.

Hagglers in Greater London are the best hagglers, saving themselves nearly £1200 on the price of a car compared to a UK average of £842 according to the latest research from Hitachi Personal Finance.

Gerald Grimes, Hitachi Personal Finance Managing Director, said: “The new 63-plates will see a significant increase in the number of used cars for sale as people trade in their old cars, and with loans at their most competitive rates ever and more buyers willing to haggle, there’s never been a better time to get the best deal, whether you’re buying a new or second-hand car.”

More than half of hagglers questioned, 53 per cent, saved up to £500, while just under two per cent gave dealers a major headache by axing at least £4,500 from the price of their new motor.

Over 55s were most likely to haggle and enjoyed it more than any other age group, with two- thirds (66 per cent) haggling on the price of their last car. People aged between 25 and 34 were the least likely to put a salesman under pressure with just over half (51 per cent) saying they haggled last time they bought a car.

Buyers aged between 35 and 44 saved the most – an average of £941, while 18 to 24 year olds saved the least – an average of £686.

Top car buying tips

Hitachi Personal Finance has teamed up with car expert and TV personality Quentin Willson to provide top tips for car buyers:

Quentin’s top car buying tips:

  • Cash at the ready – If you have the cash in your bank ready to buy – tell the salesman exactly that. He’ll take you much more seriously.
  • Bold bargaining – Never pay the asking price, try for a 20 per cent discount.
  • Discount deals – Understand that car makers are struggling in Europe so need to sell cars here – sometimes at a loss. Big discounts all over the UK.
  • Freebies – Look for free insurance and free servicing deals – they can save loads.
  • Clear Exchanges – Don’t get confused by part exchange prices. The only figure that matters is the price to change from old to new. Dealers can bamboozle you with figures on your old car.
  • Don’t pay extra for silly options like built in sat navs and cruise control – as they won’t be worth much come part exchange time. Metallic paint, alloy wheels and air conditioning are the only ones worth paying extra for.
  • If you’re buying used from a dealer you get all the consumer protection available. From a private buyer your rights are very limited.
  • Remember that dealers have been told to sell new cars, which means salesmen have targets to reach either monthly or quarterly, so do some research and time your purchase to get the best deal.
  • Don’t order special colours and trim unless you’re prepared to pay extra. Cars in stock with a few delivery miles will always be cheaper than cars ordered from the factory. Demonstrators on the new plate are very good value.
  • Don’t buy duff colours like gold or green. White red blue or black are favourites that will guarantee good resale.
  • For used cars insist on seeing the car’s service history and make sure there’s a beat parade of rubber stamps. A service history can add 10 per cent to a used car’s resale.
  • Always insist on at least a year’s warranty. A three month warranty is no good at all.
  • Make sure any used car comes with a fresh 12 months MoT. You’ll have got an independent check that will inspire confidence that the car you’re buying is OK.

Top car hagglers by amount saved

Region Average amount saved on price of car/% who haggled
Greater London £1,163                             59.9%
North East £1,026                            60.94%
South East £907                               63.64%
Yorkshire and the Humber £876                               60.54%
North West £862                               64.74%
East Anglia £857                               60.71%
South West £772                               63.64%
Scotland £753                               67.35%
East Midlands £708                               56.60%
West Midlands £655                               62.50%
Wales £635                               51.06%
Northern Ireland £491                               67.50%

Learn more on car buying tips with the video of Quentin Willson, Motoring Expert.