Negotiating a used car


I’m thinking about paying cash for a used car, but I’m not sure I should divulge this to the dealer. Are dealers more likely to give you a better price on a used car if they know you are financing with them, or does it not make a difference?

Also, how much off the listed price should I expect on a $30,000 car if the car was previously on lease? Any thoughts on the dealer mark-up?

There are too many variables in your question to provide a straight answer. Are you buying a Hummer or Prius? Supply and demand has a lot to do with negotiations. Whatever car you are looking at do you homework. Find similarly equipped cars on:, as well as completed sales on ebay motors. Also check out, and edmunds true value. Start with the lowest number you find and work from there.


If you can get a loaded 2007 A6 Quattro sedan with the V8 for $30,000 - $31,000 it would be a good deal. The same would be true for a 2008 A6 Quattro 6-cyl. model with few options. Don’t worry about mark-up. Look at the sites twotone mentioned and assess the deal for yourself. BTW, also provides average insurance cost information in the ‘true cost to own’ section. You could compare that info, as well as other costs, to other cars ou might consider. The exact amount is not important; it is just a comparison tool. If the A6 is 10% less than another car you like, then the reationship should hold for your insurer.

Actually the car is a 2006, for around $30k. The problem is that the pricing sites can vary by 4-5k, so it’s actually hard to tell how much I can ask for down from the asking price.

You can ask down whatever you want. Use a site like Enter the vehicle information and they’ll give you the price most people are paying for that particular vehicle. Use that as your top price.

Don’t be afraid to low ball to the extreme. All they can do is say no. I bought a used Focus years ago. The asking price was $13,500, book was $12,900. The car had been there awhile so I offered 9k and got it for 9.5k.

You didn’t say what you’re looking at, but it may not be a bad idea just to look new. I bought a Fusion recently and am still seeing them used for 2k more than I paid new.

Who knows? You didn’t tell us whether it’s Quattro or not, and what engine it uses. Options can add up to $7000 even on a used car. It might be a good price, but maybe not.

Cash is king!!! If they know you have money, they know that the next dealer will sell you a car if they don’t sell one NOW! If you need financing, you pay more.