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New-car buyers ‘not haggling hard enough’

Drivers losing out on big discounts, survey shows

Many drivers won't haggle over the price of their new car, Sainsbury's said

Many drivers won’t haggle over the price of their new car, Sainsbury’s said

More and more drivers are prepared to haggle when buying a new car, according to new research, but many could still be losing out because they are not prepared to haggle hard enough.

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Sainsbury’s Finance found that collectively, drivers could be wasting more than £200m because they are not prepared to push for big enough discounts at the dealership.

Just two thirds of those questioned said they would haggle ‘hard’ or ‘very hard’, despite the being offered around the country as dealers struggle to shift stock. And of the 1.33m people planning to buy a new car between February and July this year, as many as 117,000 would not barter at all, researchers said.

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Head of Sainsbury’s Loans Steven Baillie said: ‘The car industry is facing a very difficult time, with sales of new cars in February for example down 22% on a year ago. This means that now is one of the best times ever to negotiate a significant discount on the price of a new vehicle. It’s a real shame some people still don’t feel confident in doing so’

Sainsbury’s said that despite this, the financial pressures of the last six months have lead to a change in approach from many would-be new-car buyers.

In August 2008, just 79% of those planning to buy a new car believed they would haggle on the price. Now, 90% of those planning to buy a new car in the coming six months will attempt to negotiate a discount, Sainsbury’s said.

Haggling advice

Haggling shouldn’t be limited to car dealerships. In a recent Which? poll, almost three quarters (72%) of members surveyed said that they hadn’t tried haggling on the high street over the last year, but 85% of those who tried were successful. 

Read our new guide to high street haggling for expert advice on getting the best deal possible or, for car-specific advice, check out our guides to car finance and buying a new car.

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