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Consumers are haggling dealers down on new or used carsBack

Results from an Owner’s Guide published by Auto Trader have revealed that it is currently very much a buyer’s market when it comes to purchasing a new or used car.

The findings show that three in five motorists paid under the asking price during the last quarter from July to September, with some buyers managing to haggle dealers down by an average of £939 off the original asking price.

The report also hints that men are better at negotiating with dealers when it comes to getting the best priced cars, and this is reflected in the results which show men can save as much as £300 more than women. In fact, the average saving in total made by a male motorist was £1,029 as opposed to £706 from female drivers.

Auto Trader believes that the discounts are a result of dealers over-pricing their best cars by not being fully aware of the current state of the market. It encourages dealers to do thorough research through online valuation sites to avoid disappointment later down the line.

Nathan Coe, group director of Auto Trader, said: “With so many sellers getting less than they were expecting for their cars it raises the question of whether this is people not valuing their cars appropriately or whether it’s buyers taking advantage of a weak market.

“Everyone knows buyers look at the state of the market before they purchase, but consumers have a lack of understanding about accurate pricing when it comes to selling.

Despite Q3 2012 being a poor period for sellers, Auto Trader believes that the situation is beginning to improve, but it is not just pricing the best cars competitively which will help dealers to sell, it is also important to make sure that stock is presented well, whether it be on the forecourt or by using high quality photos and a clear specification online. Dealers also need to make it their priority to ensure that sales teams are fully trained to answer enquiries correctly and to the best of their ability.

With the average cost of a car increasing to £8,711 over Q3 as a whole, and prices increasing by 3 per cent in September alone, statistics show that the market may not be tipped in the buyer’s favour for much longer, so it is more important than ever that dealers up their game in order to cash in on future opportunities.

Posted by Leana Kell on 01/11/2012