Bargaining during car purchase

How can it make any sense to tell the seller of a used car that you want a new set of tires or a new battery? Do you think you will get top-of-the-line Michelins or a high quality battery from the seller? Get a bid on the replacements that you want and then lower your offer by the amount!

I usually start at a little above the minimum trade in value figuring that is what they turned down. the math is up to you after that. Chances are a seller would prefer to sell the car as is.

If you told someone that you wanted new tires on the car or a new battery, they’d most likely tell you to get lost, or they’d go out and buy the cheapest battery and tires they could find; most of which could probably be worse than what they had on it to begin with.

Actually when I buy from a private party and see new tires, I immediately think there was uneven tire wear that they are trying to hide. Same thing with a battery, I think of a nightmare parasitic drain. If a dealer puts these items on a CPO car, I can understand that, they are just making the car look better.

And don’t be offended or blame the seller if they refuse to drop the sale price by the figure you’re using on those tires and battery. It doesn’t work that way.

Free country so make any offer you want. If I’m selling a car and someone does this to me it will simply be a sorry, can’t take it. Next.

You’re right. It makes no sense. Why would anyone even want the seller to put new tires or a battery on a car? He’d get the guarantee, not you.

Are you asking a question or pontificating?

Which post are you referring to?

Tires and batteries are the easiest things to fix. Make an offer and gitcherown. I wish car owners would fix it first.

Once I bought a Buick for $250 because there were new tires on it. I sold the radiator, a front rotor/hub, and the rest of the car. That all went for $75. In the trunk were new brake shoes which I used on my Impala, plug wires, battery cables, five quarts of oil and a gallon of anti-freeze.

The tires went on the 72 Cadillac. The stereo cassette player went in my Lincoln. It had a bunch of lights and their sockets which I cut off. I used every one of them. That Buick was the best car ever. I drove it about eight miles.

Selling a car can be made complicated with specified demands. Just make your best offer and hope it sticks and then do what you want later to bring the car up to what you want. If I was the seller and you, the buyer wanted new tires and a battery, I might work that into the deal but more likely would just blow you off as someone I don’t have time nor energy to deal with. Just as there are plenty of cars for sale, there are plenty of buyers too.

I was reacting to a Maliozzi column in which the brothers suggested asking the seller of the car for new tires; deal breaker. I have been buying cars, new and used for 60 years and I have even told new car dealers that the deal depended on putting my choice of tires on the vehicle. (Usually Michelins).

Dealers routinely put new tires on used cars. It’s not that they’re trying to hide anything; it’s simply that new rubber is a big selling point and they generally get a pretty good discount from a local tire store for being a vastly repeating customer.

Those tires are also not nearly as free as you may think they are. :wink:

What if the seller provides you with an alignment printout to go with those new tires?
Going to think the same then?

If I saw new tires, the first thing out of my mouth would be if they had the car aligned at the same time.


Especially when they can add another $500 to the asking price because of the new rubber. Being a high volume purchaser of tires does indeed make a huge difference in cost of tires. I once worked with a guy who had worked for Walmart’s tire shop. He said they bought so many tires as a company that their cost for Michelin Symmetry tires, back when Walmart carried them, was around $20-50 per tire, depending on the size. The dealer won’t get that deep of a discount, but it is still worth it to them in some cases to put new tires on a car to help get it off their lot and make a little extra money at the same time.

I didn’t see that article but I think it is ridiculous. If I’m selling a car, I fix what I’m going to, clean it up, and price it where I think it should be for a good value and quick sale. If someone wants a perfect car they need to buy a new one. I don’t want to spend the time or effort talking to someone who just want to chisel me down. If a guy is reasonable and we can come to an agreement in 15-20 minutes, I’ll sure meet him half way on price. If he wants new tires, he knows where to buy them. If it needed a battery, I already would have put it in. Some people just want to make a game of it all and I just want to get the thing done with.

Well, that makes me feel better. I guess they also have the electrical checked with a report too.

In real life I have never bought a used car that had new tires unless a CPO from a dealer.

If I was buying from a private party, I’d just figure what new tires and a battery would cost and factor that into negotiating the selling price for the car.

When dealing with a dealer they can get these items at “cost” and have the people and equipment to do the work. If the price was close I might see if I could get new tires and/or a battery if they looked worn or old. It is nice to pick up a car and not have to immediately go out and spend more money on it. I won’t expect the highest priced tires or a mega super battery, but servicable quality items would be fine with me. If you want a particular brand of tires and/or battery you can ask and the dealer can always say no.

No hard and fast rule on this, it depends on who is selling the car and other variables.