Want to know how to negotiate a car rental?Use these strategies

Many personal finance bloggers will tell you that renting a car is a bad move, but that’s not to say that it may never make sense to you.

Maybe you like the idea of ​​not having to worry about increasing maintenance costs. Maybe you don’t want the hassle of selling used cars on the road. Heck, maybe you just like the idea of ​​driving a shiny new car every few years.

The whole point of managing your funds wisely is that you can afford the lifestyle you want. If you are willing to cut your car rental budget in other areas, that is your privilege.

In other words, many people get into financial trouble by negotiating car leases without first doing research.

11 tips on how to negotiate a car rental

1. Know your numbers

The part of the lease is not just a monthly payment, so make sure you sit down in advance and figure out how much you can (and are willing to) spend:

  • down payment
  • The total cost of the car (called “cap cost”)
  • Mileage limit (that is, how many miles your lease allows you to drive per month before the rental company charges the excess mileage fee)
  • Buyout or purchase option price (that is, if you choose to buy a car, you must pay at the end of the lease).

If you have plans to trade in a vehicle, please visit Kelly Blue Book Find out how much it is really worth so that the dealer won’t treat you badly.

2. Know what you want

Appearing at a dealership without considering a particular car is like a slogan on your neck that says: “I am willing to accept the most expensive option you can sell to me!”

Do research in advance to find the brand and model that best meets your needs, and carefully consider the options you can’t live without and the options you can choose.

Demonstrating that you know what you know can prevent you from being pushed into more cars than you need-it also leaves you with a solid first impression that you have everything under control and will not be easily persuaded.

3. Get a quotation in advance

Before you visit the lot, try to contact the dealer’s internet sales department to get a quote.

When you have already obtained a quote from a dealer, it is difficult to make the salesperson humble to you.

4. Test drive dealers (and sales staff)

Most of us check online reviews before trying a new restaurant. When you want to make a larger purchase, why shouldn’t you do it?

For example, Edmunds.com provides a Dealer rating and review page There you can read about the experiences of other customers at the regional distributors.

It still has this Check the smart strategies of potential salespeople. (Do you know you can do it?)

5. Check dealer inventory

If your ideal car is in stock (read: sitting in a car takes up valuable space), you can immediately gain the upper hand in car rental negotiations.

If the salesperson must pick up the car for you from other places, they can type out the “I’ll let you do a favor” card.

But if you offer to let them give up the car, you You can play the “I will help you remove it from your turf, this is doing you a favor” card.

you could Check local dealer inventory here.

6. Have a nice day

The old saying “Never go shopping on an empty stomach” doesn’t just apply to grocery stores.

If you go to the dealer when you feel uncomfortable (hungry, sick, tired, etc.), your mind will become less clear with It’s easier to facilitate a bad deal because you just want to end it.

Go when you feel rested and ready to deal with the pressure of negotiation.

In addition, try to start buying your next car before your current car is completely damaged, so that you don’t buy quickly because you are not thoughtful.

7. With backup

Even if you are quite confident in your negotiation skills, having someone with you will always help you get on the right track.

Whether it’s a friend, family member or colleague, everyone is good at looking intimidating, please bring someone who can point out potential trading traps, remind you of your original budget and prevent you from falling into any sweet-talking tricks.

8. Put your phone outside

Many apps can provide you with real-time help on how to negotiate a car rental-even during the conversation.

Real car Show you what other customers paid for similar cars at the dealership.

This Cars.com app Allows you to compare stock vehicles from multiple local dealers side by side, and also helps you calculate loan terms based on current negotiations or budget.

These apps can not only help you arm and prepare, but they can also send a clear signal to the salesperson that you are not someone they can bring.

9. Check Date

Chances are, when you browse the car at the dealership, you may have overlooked a key piece of information that can provide you with an additional advantage: the date of manufacture.

We all look at car window stickers, which tell us information such as prices and fuel mileage, but don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s stickers (usually located on the driver’s side door of the vehicle). In the upper left corner of the sticker, you will see the date and month, telling you when the car will go offline.

The farther that date is, the longer the car will be in the parking lot—the dealer must pay more for transportation. Meaning: They are ready to get rid of this car.

10. Negotiate car rental like a purchase

One of the easiest ways to agree to spend more than you want is to just focus on the monthly payment of the lease. This allows the dealer to provide you with leverage on other lease terms. (Look This chart of the “cash flow shell game” See how this works. )

To get the best price, negotiate the cap cost first, as if you were planning to buy a car directly.

In fact, don’t even mention leasing until you and the dealer agree on the price. Once determined, then You can propose financing options (including leasing).

11. Get ready to go out

If you seem to have nowhere for the salesperson to go, don’t be afraid to leave directly.

One of two things will happen: the salesperson will panic and stop you halfway from trying to sweeten the transaction, or he will let you go-in this case, you can go to the dealer Yes Willing to cooperate with you.

Kelly Gurnett is a writer for The Penny Hoarder.

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About the Author: Agnes Zang