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Less than a third of car buyers haggle on car purchase, says CarGurus

Less than a third of car buyers (29%) always try to negotiate when purchasing a car, according to a new CarGurus survey.

A survey of 2,000 motorists commissioned by CarGurus found that those who had successfully negotiated a car’s price managed to save, on average, £896.

While motorists that bartered saved on average nearly £900 per purchase — equating to an average of 11% off the total asking price by those who negotiated successfully — there was disparity between age groups and locations.

Buyers aged 18-24 were the most successful in knocking down the price, saving an average of £1,730. This was followed by those over 65, who secured £1,023 off the car’s asking price. Drivers aged 45-54 were the least effective in their negotiations, saving £753 on average.

Regionally, car buyers in the North East of England were able to save the most through their negotiating skills, saving on average £1,395. In contrast, Welsh buyers managed to get £723 off.

The survey also looked at reasons why motorists weren’t negotiating, and found more than half (53%) found it too uncomfortable to negotiate, 16% didn’t want to offend the dealer, 15% didn’t know how to, and 9% thought it was rude. Younger buyers (18-to-24-year-olds) were seemingly the most polite, with 55% not wanting to offend the dealer. 

CarGurus said its Instant Market Value (IMV) can help car buyers negotiate more confidently as they will have more informoation on what is an estimated fair retail price for a vehicle listed on the site.

Using proprietary technology, search algorithms and  data analytics, CarGurus provides insights into car pricing, dealer reputation, and vehicle history, along with proprietary deal ratings for listings ranked from ‘Fair’ to ‘Overpriced’.

Updated daily, CarGurus IMV takes into account “millions of data points” including make, model, variant, year, mileage, options, location, and vehicle history.

For buyers that were successful in negotiating, 40% said they compared pricing for similar car models online ahead of time and 25% refused to budge on how much they were willing to pay.

In addition, 18% brought someone with them to help negotiate, while 16% rehearsed the conversation in their head in advance.

Buyers paying for their car on finance were also able to secure significant savings thanks to successful negotiations. On average, effective negotiators saved £184 per month on their finance deals.

Even when buyers were not successful in lowering the price of a car, dealers often came forward with additional incentives to complete a purchase.

Nearly a quarter of the time these buyers were offered at least one additional incentive, such as: an extended warranty (26%), a free servicing period (21%), or were given money off optional extras such as leather seats (20%).

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