Hag­gle for a car like you would for a house

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — WR.

DE­SPITE a buyer’s best in­ten­tions, if a dream used car be­comes avail­able that ticks all the right boxes — ex­cept for the price tag — the bud­get can all too of­ten get quickly for­got­ten.

To stop the heart rul­ing the car buyer’s head, ve­hi­cle his­tory check ex­pert in the UK, HPI, is of­fer­ing a sim­ple guide to the art of ne­go­ti­a­tion, help­ing buy­ers secure a good deal whether they are buy­ing, sell­ing or part-ex­chang­ing a car.

Neil Hod­son, deputy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for HPI, ex­plains, “De­spite a car be­ing the sec­ond largest fi­nan­cial pur­chase a per­son will ever make — a prop­erty be­ing the big­gest — 56% of us would rather pay the ask­ing price for a used car than ne­go­ti­ate with a dealer.”

This com­pares to just 16% of peo­ple who would rather of­fer the ask­ing price for a house than ne­go­ti­ate. In fact, as many as a third of us would rather ne­go­ti­ate a pay rise at work than hag­gle for a car.

“The re­al­ity is all too of­ten buy­ers find the car they want and pay the full sticker price be­cause they lack con­fi­dence in their own ne­go­ti­at­ing skills, par­tic­u­larly when hav­ing to deal face-to-face with the seller.

House buy­ers have es­tate agents to ne­go­ti­ate through, which gives them more room to be bold with their of­fer.

“The trick to clinch­ing a good used car deal is bal­ance; you need to make sure the ven­dor or sales­per­son knows you’re a se­ri­ous buyer with­out ap­pear­ing des­per­ate.

“It is equally cru­cial to do your home­work.

“Be­fore you start the process of se­cur­ing a deal, re­search the mar­ket­place and ask the right ques­tions. Knowl­edge will em­power a buyer.”

Hod­son ad­vises car buy­ers to start by un­der­stand­ing the ve­hi­cle’s cur­rent mar­ket value.

“A used car val­u­a­tion will give mo­torists a good idea of the price they should ex­pect to pay if they are buy­ing, or how much they can ex­pect from a buyer if they are sell­ing or part-ex­chang­ing.

“If a car for sale is priced low to sell quickly, the chances are it’s hid­ing some­thing se­ri­ous. For ex­am­ple it could be ‘clocked’, stolen or have fi­nance ow­ing against it.”

In South Africa, the OLX site shows cur­rent prices de­manded by pri­vate car sell­ers, while the Trans Union Auto Deal­ers Guide in­forms deal­ers.

PHOTO: SCREEN GRAB

A study of on­line clas­si­fied site OLX will show used car buy­ers what the mod­els they want are trad­ing for.

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