How To Speak To A Car Salesman

It pays to be a little car buy-lingual.

Eli Blueby Eli Blue

Car salesmen work from a position of disadvantage. What may seem like a harmless negotiation ploy or careless remark could turn into a royal flush for the dealer.


Keep free of these phrases when you're in the dealership.


Don't tell: My budget is $X

Always let the dealer make the first offer. Throwing out price $X may be higher than what the dealer wanted to negotiate for.


Don't tell: I can afford monthly payment $X

Any talk of monthly payment is disastrous. The total purchase price and interest rates could be higher with a lower monthly payment of the loan is extended from three to six years. Always negotiate the purchase price first.


Do tell: If I upgrade my leased car, will my lease start from month 0?

Many dealerships love "rewarding" customers by offering a "select few" customers a chance to trade in their 2010s for 2011s with no money down and no increase in monthly payments. However, dealerships may not tell you your lease will "reset" to month 0. Plus, simple upgrades can add $200 a month to the lease. Keep your car until the end of the leasing period when you're in a better position to negotiate your next lease terms.


Do tell: But I was pre approved for a car loan with X% interest and my credit score is X.

Always get preapproved for a car room before stepping into the dealership and avoid the outrageously high interest rated offered. Sometimes, dealers will offer loan terms without reviewing your credit score.


Do tell: A dealer committed to offer me terms X,Y,Z if I commit now

Dealers love telling consumers not necessarily their terms are the best, but that "its what all the dealerships are offering" because there is X inventory or "your credit."  Try forwarding an email from one dealer offering your preferred terms to the other and watch them match or add an upgrade faster than you can blink.