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83% of motorists haggle when buying a car

Laptop car buyer

The haggle is not dead according to research by Sainsbury’s Bank Loans, which suggests 83% of motorists will barter for a better deal when buying a car.

The supermarket bank’s latest Car Buying Index reveals that more than eight in ten people intending to buy a car (83%) will haggle over its price, aiming to get an average price reduction of 12%.

One-in-five (19%) said they would haggle ‘very hard’, almost three in ten (29%) intend to haggle ‘fairly hard’ and another one in three (35%) said they would haggle slightly.

A tiny 4% of those intending to buy a car said they didn’t know haggling was an option when buying a car.

Haggling  becomes more natural to more experienced car buyers, with 24% of those planning to buy a car aged 55 or over saying they will haggle very hard, compared to 22% of those aged 35 to 54 and just 15% of those aged 18 to 34

Sainsbury’s Bank head of loans Robert Oag said: “Cars are expensive and there is a lot of competition in the market so it is always worth trying to secure a better deal.

“If you’re thinking of buying a car you also need to consider the total cost including any finance you may need to arrange.

“Choosing the right finance package can make a significant difference to your monthly repayments and the total repayment amount so it makes sense to do your homework on this.”

Sainsbury’s Bank offers the following tips for those looking to buy a car:

  • Check the new vehicle tax rules carefully before you buy – while some pure electric cars remain eligible for no tax, this is not the case with low-emission hybrids or combustion-engined cars, though tax is now partially calculated based on the level of CO2 emissions.
  • Know the market: the What Car? Target Price for each make and model is a good guideline
  • When a new model or facelifted version of a car is launched, or is imminent, the ‘old-look’ model can be bought at a greater discount.
  • Larger discounts are often available before the introduction of new registration plates.
  • If asking for a drop in price is a daunting prospect, try getting additional extras thrown in with the deal, such as a SatNav, Bluetooth or metallic paint.
  • Make sure you’re fully decided on the car you want, and on your budget. Don’t be persuaded into spending more than you can afford – and if you don’t like the deal, walk away.
  • Shop around. Visit more than one dealer to compare prices and test their willingness to do you a deal. Let them know you’re considering other options.
  • Never respond too quickly to an offer/deal. Pause before answering – or say you’ll think about it – to let the dealer know that you’re not desperate. 
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