What are you looking for in an upgrade? Heated seats, more luggage space perhaps? Whatever it is you’re looking for in a new car, you need to know you’re getting the best value for money and that’s why I am bringing you a short and snappy guide to successful forecourt negotiation and how to drive a hard bargain and get real value for money.

A little research goes a long way

You might have exactly the make, model and year in mind when thinking about your new purchase, in which case get online. Look at the average price of your new car and hit up some comparison sites to see similar vehicles that might make good alternatives. Arm yourself with a little knowledge and you’re ready for the dealership.

Have in mind three figures: the absolute top line of what you can afford, the price you’d like to pay and a price you could live with (somewhere between the two). Stick to these figures like glue and if you do find yourself edging towards the last figure, make sure you’re getting some great extras thrown in to sweeten the deal.

In the same way you have a top line, also consider what you absolutely must have in your new car. If space was an issue, then you have to go for a bigger boot and yes you’d be prepared to give up the heated steering wheel.

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Act confidently

You may not feel it but talk to your sales representative with confidence. You’re the customer and they’re keen to make a sale but it has to be on your terms and your terms only. Politely but firmly decline any invitations to upgrade to a model outside of your reach and be clear on what you’re looking for.

The price they offer, whether to pay at once or with a loan agreement, is not necessarily their final offer. Don’t be afraid to bargain hard and see if you can get some numbers shaved off. If you can’t, then ask what extras might also be included, for example a year’s free servicing or a deal on insurance. Consider a test drive, such as the AMG Test Drive Weekend Mercedes AMG Test Drive Weekend 25-28 May.

Lastly, walk away. If you’re not getting anywhere and feeling like you’re being pressured to sign on the dotted line, simply walk away from the conversation. They are not the only dealership out there and don’t have a monopoly on your money. Treat the experience as a learning curve and know better how to deal with pressure selling next time.

Go into the next conversation better prepared and ready to say a hard no when necessary. Shop around and you’ll find the right deal at the right price before long.

With a little perseverance and by sticking to your guns, you’ll be driving off the forecourt with a great bargain, safe in the knowledge that you paid what it’s worth and got that luggage space you so desperately needed.

*collaborative post