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Whether you're buying new or used, shopping for a car can be a nerve-wracking process. It's in the seller's best interest to get the maximum price for the vehicle. Buying a new car from an auto dealership means that you'll be contending with a seasoned sales professional, while buying a used car means that you run the risk of buying a lemon in need of significant repairs. To walk out with a discounted price on a car in top shape, you'll need to arm yourself with information and be prepared to stand your ground.

1. Research your Vehicle Online

To get started, you'll need to research your vehicle of choice thoroughly. There are numerous online resources that can help you do this, including forums, blogs, and auto listings sites. If you are not yet sure what type of car you even want, read reviews of a number of models and compare their pros and cons carefully. On the other hand, if you have it in your mind that you want a used Bentley, you can look online to see what prices look like. By knowing a car's market value along with its best and worst features, you'll be ready to haggle.

2. Find out the Invoice Price

If you're buying a new car, a typical tactic is to walk into the dealership and try to talk the price down from its sticker price. However, a different tactic that could work in your favour is to find out what the invoice price is instead. This is the amount that the dealer paid for the car and can serve as a baseline that you can use to your advantage. Start your bid at or near this price; and haggle up rather than down.

3. Take your Time

Although buying a car is exciting, you can avoid getting flustered by walking into the dealership with confidence. Be prepared to walk away if your terms aren't met. If you feel uncomfortable at any point or feel like you're being rushed into a deal you don't quite understand, you can always say that you need time to think about it and walk away. That way, you can go home, research any points you're unclear on, and come back later with a better idea of what to expect.

4. Get an Outside Inspection

If you're buying a used car, it's imperative to run a vehicle history report or ask to see a paper trail of servicing. This will show you if there has been any past damage which you could use to talk the price down. It's also helpful to ask a local mechanic to give the car a once-over, which is well worth the price if they uncover any flaws that the seller is unaware of.

5. Shop around for Financing

In addition to paying for the car itself, you'll also need to think about your financing options. Although you can arrange a car loan through the dealer, there are usually better rates available from a local bank or credit union, particularly if you have decent credit. Go to these private lenders first to obtain quotes, and then use these as bargaining tools if you want to arrange financing with the dealer.

It always pays to shop around to find the best deals on a new or used car. By taking the time to do your research in advance, you can get a lower price on the car you want.

Content was provided by Car Sales.