Scrappage special - All the facts - How to haggle

Article 6 of 37 See all
  • How the scheme works
  • How to haggle
  • How to buy
So you've got your scrappage allowance… Then what? Well, the Government has done its bit to tempt you out of your old car and into a new one, and now it's time for the car maker to cough up.

Plenty of offers, such as free trim upgrades or interest-free finance, are going begging at the moment, but the bulk of savings aren't advertised. The reason is simple: both car maker and dealer would rather you didn't know about them. That way you pay more and they make more.

The only way to get at these potential savings is to haggle. And the better you are at it, the bigger the discounts. And, remember, it may be a skill but it isn't difficult to learn.

First, get your attitude right. Good haggling isn't about strutting into a showroom and demanding, there and then, thousands off a car. Do that and you'll only get the salesman's back up.

He may be unwilling to deal openly with you at all, and certainly won't bend over backwards to offer a great deal. In short, a little easy-going charm and relaxed chat will take you a great deal further.

But, first, do your homework. You'll want to keep a lid on any suggestions of arrogance, while still making clear that you know your stuff and won't be taken for a ride. Check the Target Price for the model you're interested in (either in the buyer's guide at the back of What Car? magazine or at That's the absolute maximum you should consider paying, so see how much more you can squeeze out of the deal.

Log onto a few internet brokers as well, and print off the best prices you find. That way you've got something to work with if the salesman doesn't come up with a cracking price.

Show commitment. The salesman won't want to spend hours putting a deal together if he thinks you're just window shopping.

If you can, tell him you'll put down a deposit today if he offers a great deal. Whatever figure he comes up with first, you'll know he can do better, so if he's resisting a realistic suggestion, deliver an ultimatum and a final, lower price.

Stay calm, even if negotiations aren't going to plan. Get flustered and you may make the wrong decision. Be prepared to walk away if the salesman refuses to budge – either to think things over or to buy elsewhere. Remember, there are plenty more dealerships that would love your business.

Scrappage special - All the facts - How to haggle - part two


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