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Visit the dealer

  • Don't miss out on the best deal...
  • ...or pay more than you should
  • Our guide to beating the salesman
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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Youre now ready to speak to a salesman, but be patient. Dont just appear at a dealership unannounced: book an appointment and test drive. That way you wont be left wandering around the showroom because all the sales staff are busy. It also shows you arent just window shopping, and gives the dealer the chance to arrange the correct demonstrator.

You should always test drive a car before buying it, and not just any old version thats kicking around the forecourt. Insist on driving a car with the exact engine and gearbox combination that youre considering purchasing, even if this means the dealer has to source a car from elsewhere.

When you arrive at the dealership, be polite and friendly. Try to build a good rapport with the salesman. If youre rude or difficult, he may decide you arent worth the trouble and simply refuse you a discount. Dont let him do all the talking, either. Make it clear youve done your homework and know which car you want.

Now youre ready for a test drive. Take the car out alone if possible itll be much easier to judge it objectively. If that isnt possible, make sure you drive the car on a mix of roads for at least an hour. If you can, bring along a friend to keep the salesman talking. That way you can focus on the car rather than the sales spiel.

If you dont like the car, or if youd like to try it with a different engine, dont be shy say so.

Don't sayDo say
I want to buy this carI'm thinking about buying this car
Can I have a discount How much discount will you give me?
Youre sure you cant meet the Target Price? Ill buy elsewhere if you wont meet the Target Price.
Is that all my old car is worth? I can only buy if I get more for my old car.
Is that the best finance rate you can offer? Ive found a lower finance rate elsewhere, thanks.