7 effective ways to negotiate the price of a used car


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

Share this post:

Latest news articles

Are you curious about knowing how you can get good deals on a used car at dealerships? Check out these 7 effective ways of negotiating the price of a used car!

Anyone that has ever passed by or walked into a car dealership before will agree that most of the salesmen and saleswomen are usually sweet-talking people who are typically good at bargaining prices and would try all their best to beat you in a negotiation.

The greatest fear most people face when buying a used car is never really their “pocket-size”, in most cases it is their poor “negotiation skills” which they know would never match that of the “sugar-coated” mouth salespersons usually found at car dealerships.

Naijauto is here to break that “yolk” of fear with this article where we have discussed below a list of the top 7 tips in negotiating used car prices. Check them out below;


You can easily get exhausted when negotiating used car price without a tactful approach

Go through the list below to see some of the most important things to do in order to avoid being ripped off or sold a used car at a non-convenient price;

1. Do all of your homework beforehand

This is a good point that applies when you are buying either a brand-new or used car.

As long as you are not the richest man in the world, it just doesn’t make any sense to walk straight into a negotiation on a car without having any background knowledge of the car you are buying.

When negotiating the price of a used car, it is always time-saving and money-saving to do your homework beforehand in order to be equipped with all the necessary information you need to make the right purchase decision.


Doing a little bit of homework before hitting the negotiation table for a used car will go a long way!

Note: A good place to begin your homework is by familiarizing yourself with the car prices in Nigeria of the various brands here on Naijauto.

As a matter of fact, if you have done enough findings; you should be able to compare price offerings across different dealers before settling for the best deal.

2. Be polite and courteous

In price negotiations, your goal should be to “win” and not to be “right” even though they say “customers are always right”.

According to human psychology, when you talk to people politely and treat them with courtesy, they are more likely to return your kind gesture back by treating you the same way.

Many people don’t know that; being polite and courteous when negotiating the price of a used car is a powerful way of getting the best deal for yourself.


Being polite and courteous to people will most likely help you win their heart in negotiations

Some of the most horrible phrases and statements you should AVOID when negotiating the price of a used car include the following;

  • “That’s my offer!"
  • "Take it or leave it”
  • “You better do this price or I’m walking”

If you keep uttering any of the above-listed statements, you are most likely to piss off the seller or dealer and he/she might never agree to your price. You will also be keeping such seller or dealer from guiding you towards some other better deals that might actually fit your budget.

>>> You can refer here the reasonable price for Tokunbo cars in Nigeria: Updated Tokunbo car prices in Nigeria (17 most popular brands)

3. Request for the car’s maintenance records

For every used car, the maintenance records will reveal its history of oil changes, repairs and maintenance schedules.

If a seller/dealer is not able to present you a clear and up-to-date maintenance record for a used car then, you should suspect the specified condition and quality of the car. You can also use this lack of record as an excuse to beat down the price you are willing to pay.

But, if the records truly proof that the car was well maintained to your taste then, you might probably want to consider whatever price the seller is offering as a good deal.

This is how important the vehicle maintenance record(s) is. So, always remember to request it before negotiating the price of a used car!

4. The “Silent Walk-around” is a powerful trick

First of all; what is the “Silent walk-around” trick?

Well, it is a very powerful technique that has been around for ages and it is often used by dealers or buyers to evaluate a car.

It’s a simple process of keeping shut while you silently walk around a used car as you visually inspect the car for any visible scratch, stain, or dents and sometimes people shake their heads each time they see any of such flops.


Inspect carefully for scratches, stains and dents to help you bargain a lower price

Doing this simple “drama” usually puts a kind of mental and emotional pressure on a seller/dealer, making them already begin to devalue the car in their own mind before the real negotiation starts.  

So, all you have to do is stay as silent as you can be while carrying out this “Silent walk-around” process and watch how powerful it is when you open up the actual negotiation floor with the seller/dealer.

>>> Below are specific guidelines for buying certain used car models:

5. Ask the seller for the least amount/ price

After properly inspecting a used car, you can go ahead and just ask the seller/dealer for the least amount/price that he or she is willing to sell the car. You should do this whenever you see that you are pretty much satisfied with the condition of the car already.

Don’t be surprised to see a lot of desperate sellers drop their initially stated price significantly. You will be presented with the exact thing you asked for which is the “least amount”.

No matter how tempting or satisfying their stated “least price/amount” could be to you at such point, we still suggest that you try negotiate the stated amount to see if you can still get a much better deal.

6. Don’t go beyond your maximum offer/price

This is simple and straightforward enough!

Whenever you are negotiating the price of a used car and realized that you have already reached the maximum offer/price that you can afford, try as much as possible not to entertain any further persuasion to go beyond that ceiling.


Never get swayed or persuaded to go beyond your maximum offer when negotiating

And if the dealer/seller is still not ready to accept your offer, just politely inform them that you are going to check other dealers.

No matter their ploys, objections, please and convincing persuasion techniques; try to stay within your limit and never go beyond your maximum offer.

>>> Highly recommended for you: Used vehicle inspection - the ultimate checklist

7. Know the right time to just walk away

If you have followed all of the above-listed steps and the dealer is still failing to accept the maximum offer you have stated to him/her, it might just be the right time for you to “walk away”.

Yes, you read that right; walk away!

If you know that dealer is offering the lowest or best price among all of the other ones you checked out, you can go ahead and accept his/her offer if you can afford it. But, if such price is still way beyond your pre-planned budget then, we strongly advise you walk away and go save your money till you are able to afford it.

You do not want to commit yourself into a gigantic debt over a used car when you can simply add little money to buy a brand-new one.

How to Negotiate Used Car Price at Dealership in 5 Steps; Ex Car Salesman Explains How to Buy Used


If you have understood all of the above-discussed top 7 effective ways of negotiating the price of a used car then, you can go ahead and check out our huge collections of New, Tokunbo, and Nigerian used cars for sale in Nigeria.

Good luck!

Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

Market news

Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at Naijauto.com. He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

See more