Are you in the market for a new car? If so, you’re most likely anxious about talking your dealer down from the astronomical quote they’ve just given you. Don’t break a sweat. Car Cost Canada is here to help!

Seeing as car shopping is not something you do every day, you have limited experience, especially when dealing with seasoned car sharks who know the ins and outs of the deal. Negotiating a new car price in Canada is an art unto itself. This article levels the playing field between regular folk and trained dealers.

A question that no doubt comes to mind is, “Can you still haggle with car dealers?” You absolutely can! When shopping for a new or used car, you might already be aware of the basics – do your homework and don’t be afraid to walk if the dealer isn’t meeting you halfway. But there are some more essentials that will get you a great deal.


No But Seriously, Have You Done Your Homework?

Start with settling on a car make, model and trim level before you approach a dealership. Don’t let the dealer sway your decision too much in this regard. If they sense you haven’t done your due diligence, the dealer is likely to get you to commit to add-ons that are way out of your budget.

Once you’ve taken this preemptive step, you’ll also have a ballpark price, and that in and of itself serves as a great starting point to begin negotiations.


Hear Multiple Dealers Out Before Putting Down Your Money

With any sizeable investment such as buying a new house, a car is really no different. You have to explore all your options to give yourself that much more bargaining power. This helps you deliberate between the best deals.

When your dealer senses that you have promising offers from other dealerships, they’ll be inclined to cooperate. And if your dealer refuses to yield, simply walk! Go to a dealer who offers reasonable pricing solutions and cordial services.

What should you not say to a car salesman? When hopping from one dealership to another, here’s what you should never say, lest it bruises your bargaining powers:

  • “I don’t know all that much about cars.”
  • “Wow, I really love that car.” (Sure you do, but if you let them know that, they will play on your emotions to get you to commit to the deal)
  • “My credit isn’t too great at the moment.”
  • “I absolutely must buy a car today.”
  • “My trade-in is parked outside.”
  • “I have a high paying job.” (This prompts them to elevate their quotes)
  • “Where are the cup holders?” (Save the trivial questions for later; Begin with important and well-informed questions first)


Watch Out For These Typical Dealer Traps

Car salesmen come with a roster of slick tactics to get you to commit to the deal and pay over and above your means.

  • One of the first tactics is for salespeople to attempt to wear you out with lengthy negotiations in the hopes that you’ll just cave and commit. To offset this tactic, stagger your buying experience; talk numbers on one day, test drive on another, etc.


  • “If I can get you this price will you buy the car today?” This is known as the porcupine technique where the dealer tries anything to get you to sign the paperwork. Don’t give a definite answer until you are very sure about the transaction.


  • The dealer will limit you to two options, for instance, asking you if you want the car in black or blue. That indicates that the deal is already made and it’s now a matter of attending to trivial details. In this case, they aren’t giving you the option of saying “no” or “I need to look into this before I make a decision.”


  • Your dealer might skip to talking about financing options and try to get you to forget about negotiating a good price first and foremost. Don’t talk about monthly payments or finance terms – do that later on. First, try to negotiate for the best price possible.


  • The dealer might provide misleading information such as telling you that great rebates are available to those who pay the sticker price. That’s your cue to walk. Rebates are provided by the manufacturer and not the salesperson.


  • Another tactic is the age-old “take it or leave it – today only!” ultimatum. The dealer puts you in a pressure boiler situation where you’re rushed to make a decision if you want their “limited time only” offer. Don’t let this tactic dupe you. The price and associated rebates are likely to remain the same on any other day you drop by.


Get Wise to the Real MSRP: Demand a Free Dealer Invoice Report

How do I get the best deal on a new car? A dealer invoice report is your ultimate wingman. It will help you discover the true MSRP (what the dealer actually paid to the manufacturer to own the vehicle). That way, you can skip fringe charges, hidden fees, markups and so on.

A dealer report also makes it easier for you to negotiate and compare certified dealers to find the best one.

How much can you negotiate on a new car? This really depends on your negotiation prowess. Typically, you ought to follow the 3-5% rule, which essentially suggests that you should add a 3-5% margin to the MSRP so as to arrive at a negotiation price. That way, you’re facilitating a great deal for yourself while also being fair to the dealer.


With Car Cost Canada, SAVE Over 15% on Your Next Car!

Don’t let your dealer pull one over you. Get a free dealer invoice report and become a smart and savvy shopper! Access certified dealerships, rebates, exclusive incentives and more.

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