'Let me take you through your options'
The truth is this: A salesman will aim to control the situation, pushing you into cars he wants you to buy at his price. Don't let him.
Before you even set foot near a showroom, decide which car you want, how much it should cost (with What Car?'s Target Price discounts), how cheap you can get finance and how much your car is worth if you're trading it in.
If you're vague on any of these details, you'll be an easy target.
'I'm sorry, I can't offer a discount'
They certainly can, unless you're buying something truly exotic or in high demand.
Take a look at our Target Prices here on whatcar.com to find out the most you should pay.
Alternatively, have a look at the back of What Car? magazine to see the Target Price for any car.#
Once you're armed with this information, you can wave it under the salesman's nose. See if he'll match it or better it. If he won't, there should be plenty of other dealers who will.
'I can't offer discounts on extras'
Wrong again. You can expect the same discount on factory-fit extras as on the basic list price of the car.
'There are no discounts on finance deals'
Yes, there are. Virtually every finance deal is underwritten by the manufacturer. Dealerships' margins are fully intact, so you can still haggle for money off the car and for a lower finance rate.
'I can't discount this special edition, but it will keep its value better'
Special editions enjoy the same discounts and are worth no more than the model they're based on at resale time. Some are good value, though, with more equipment for a lower list price.
'Put a deposit down, then we'll talk about a discount'
No thanks - why would you put money down on a deal that hasn't been worked out? Get a price you're happy with first.
Want to know more?
If you want to arm yourself with even more information before you go into a showroom, see our other features by clicking the links below:
Best small SUVs 2022
Thinking of buying a new small SUV? Then make sure you read our countdown of the top 10 cars in this booming sector – plus, find out which ones we'd avoid
Suzuki Across long-term test review
Can a plug-in hybrid SUV make sense for someone who covers a lot of motorway miles? Our senior photographer is finding out