At some point or another, everyone has to negotiate buying a car from a dealer. Here are some surefire ways to stay in control of the situation and get the best deal possible. If you don't plan on driving the car for at least six or seven years---leasing is probably the better option, but that will have to wait for another post.
-- Know exactly what it is you want: car model, paint job, tires, navigation, interior, extra keys, service plan, etc. With all the information and photos available online, this should be the easy part. If you have your heart set on a silver car with a black interior, don't settle for anything else. You're gonna be the one opening that car door everyday.
-- If you're set on the Audi A6 and want nothing else, don't let the salespeople know that. Say you're still considering cars like the BMW 5-Series and Lexus GS.
-- Go in on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday---preferably when the weather is absolutely terrible. The less busy it is, the more attention you'll get and the more desperate the dealership will be to get a sale in.
-- It will also help to go in towards the end of the month, as there's a pretty good chance they haven't met their sales expectations and will be more willing to lower the price.
-- The number one trick when it comes to negotiating a car deal is to never actually negotiate. Give them a firm price and tell them you'll sign all the paperwork once they meet that price.
-- When they counter offer, decline, decline and decline. Politely leave your phone number and drive off. If they're not chasing you out the door willing to meet your firm price, they'll probably be calling the next morning.
-- If they don't match your price, email every dealership that has the car you want within a 30-50 mile radius and say you're interested in buying a car today and give them your firm price and exactly what you're looking for. If more than one is willing to comply, you might even be able to drive the price down further.
-- When it comes to luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus have always been far more flexible than Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche and Jaguar. Though it varies from dealer to dealer, that's the general thinking. More economy focused cars from brands like Ford, Toyota and Honda are the easiest to negotiate.
Hopefully these tips will help you get the car of your dreams at a fair price. Remember to be confident going in and never settle for anything less than what you want.