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General Advice for Haggling Down Used Car (Lexus ES 300h)

My fiance and I are in the market for a new car for her and she is pretty dead set on the 2013-2014 Lexus 300h,. We have found a pretty good looking car available nearby at a good price, but I of course want to get the best price for it.

2013 Lexus 300h , 28689 miles listed (actual 29750)
listed originally Nov 13 2016. (so 113 days in the dealer lot, average for that vehicle is 40 days according to
Its had 1 owner that had it for a 3 yr lease.
This is a Certified Used Card
My location is NJ.

I’ve checked for other cars of this model, nationwide… just to see how low I could find a comparable car.
I found 37k mile for $20k in FL no surprise. (Not Certified)
a 36.5k mile for $22.8k in GA. (Certified)
and a 30.6k mile for 22k in FL (Not Certified)

My goal is to get the best price, and just want some feedback as to what people think I should be able to get with a good negotiation. My estimate is ~$20-21k but it will take some work to get it down to that. Please let me know what you all think.

Also, I think I have a handle on the negotiations, but if anyone cares to share a tip or suggestion, they are quite welcome.

Not sure what price your target car is but in general offer a low ball price that does not insult them, they will either reject it out of hand or come back with a counter offer. If the counter is OK you are done, if not repeat the process-you come up a bit they come down a bit. The dealer does this every day so they have more experience than you. Be prepared to walk away from the table as part of your negotiating strategy. It is worth while to have comparable pricing to show them if they are too high. Sometimes they will not budge on the price but you might be able to get new tires, 5 free oil changes etc. Certified means nothing, I can buy a rubber stamp that says ‘Certified’ for $5.00. The warranty and service records are far more important than the meaningless certified label.

You’re on the right track.

You have to do your research and find a “fair” price, which is one that you are willing to pay and allows the dealer a reasonable profit. Sounds like you’re doing that already.

Also being willing to walk away is your ace in the hole. There will be other cars like the one you want.

If you aren’t mechanically savvy… I’d also insist on having a pre-purchase inspection performed at a mechanic of your choice. It will cost you money… but it may end up saving you a lot if you can avoid buying someone else’s problem.

Good luck.

As for being able to walk away… that’s rule 1 with any negotiation. If you can’t walk away, you pretty much have no leverage. I’m always aware of that while negotiating.

Good call on requesting new tires, I knew of that previously, but had completely let it slip my mind… This is why I asked for any tips, can’t even keep track of the crap I already know, but making notes is fixing that.

Are you sure you really need a hybrid ? I did an online test and it showed that for us it would not be a benefit. Frankly the only way I would have a hybrid would be new. To each their own but if going over $20000.00 we will look at new because of warranty and sometimes 0 % financing.

Lexus- The brand for people who want a Toyota but don’t want to be seen driving one.

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hmm… I just ran some numbers… and you might be onto something… the additional upfront cost will take ~5.6 years to be offset by gas savings based on current driving and gas prices as they are now. This is ignoring any premium in repair costs that would be associated with the ES 300h hybrid vs the standard ES 350. Same car for the most part, with more trunk space. Less money on the front end… which is always a good thing.

Just to note… This is the car she wants, I tried talking her into something more practical, but best not to argue the point too much as its just not worth it and I’m sure others can read between the lines there. I do expect her to keep the car for the duration of 6+ years, thus getting the cost savings benefit… so it isn’t all that bad, but I think I’ll push for the upfront cost savings. And what I think is a bigger point, will the turn in value of the 350 hold better than the 300h 5-10 years from now?

In those 113 days on the dealer lot, have they lowered the price since then?

If not, they should be ready to accept a lower offer right now, just to clear up space

Last year I went car shopping for my mom, bought a 2 year old Civic. It had been sitting on the lot for only 2 months, and they slashed the price, just to clear space for something else

Considering the Lexus has been on the lot almost twice as long, means they should be willing to dicker, even if they initially seem to be playing hardball. You might even mention that you KNOW the car’s been there for 113 days. That way they probably won’t use that line “We’ve had lots of people asking about this car” . . . because you clearly know that is NOT the case.

If they want to play their petty games and not budge on the price, you can just leave your offer and your contact info on the table and walk. Who knows, after another few days of no car sold, they might call you in to accept your offer.

Yea it’s been marked down. started at 28k then worked down to the 24.9k after about 5 price drops.

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KBB says that car, CPO from a dealer wit the Premium Package is valued at $23K to $27K. The Luxury trim adds a lot to its value, so be sure you know what you are looking at. The mileage is increasing its value. That 2013 car is likely still under the full new car warranty from Lexus (in addition to the CPO extension). The 300h models are relatively rare because it is the hybrid “trim” and only makes up about 20% of the overall sales of the ES line. CPO cars in my Lexus dealer’s showroom are sold at a set price and they don’t deal, but your trade may be the way to add value on your side. I have read and heard from many salespeople that due to the metrics that salespeople and dealerships use one may find a deal at the end of a calendar/business cycle (regardless of the set price policies). In other words, buy at the very end of the month/quarter. From a personal point of view and philosophy, I have learned to be happy when I get the deal I want. My most recent purchase was at a Subie dealer. In my mind, I knew what I wanted to pay for the new car and what I wanted for my trade. I got both numbers almost immediately, but I still had that feeling I should try harder and harder to squeeze out a better deal. It took some reflection to realize I was having a great buying experience and that I had already “won.” Good luck!

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