When you’re in the market for a new car, you’ll often find yourself heading down to car yards on the weekend, looking for affordable quality vehicles. Thankfully New Zealand is a country that leaves you spoilt for choice with a wide variety of both new and used vehicles.

A question that’s commonly asked by our AA Members is how to negotiate the best price when it comes to buying a new car, so here are a few of our top tips that will help you nab your next car for the best possible price.


In today’s market, it’s relatively easy to figure out what the actual value of a vehicle is against the price that it’s being listed for. There are online tools available like vehicle valuation reports or you can carry out your own research by viewing other dealer and auction websites to help determine a car’s current value. When buying a car from a dealer that you’re unfamiliar with, it’s worth checking their credibility through their site and taking a look at any online reviews that are available.  

The best time to buy

After you’ve done all the research, deciding on the right time to buy your new car can be crucial. There are seasonal changes in car sales, but one factor that often remains the same is the end of month sales targets that dealers have to hit. This can sometimes be the best time to try and negotiate a great deal.


Really understanding your financials is important, as it can help you understand what budget you can put behind buying your new car.  Think about the cost not only to pay for the vehicle, but to maintain it and keep it on the road throughout the year.

If you’re intending to buy a new car using finance, shop around for the best rates and try to get the amount that you want to spend pre-approved by your lender, as it will give you the same power as a cash buyer. Setting up finance through the dealer may not always be the best option.

If you’re planning on trading in your old car, consider a private sale instead as you’ll often get more money that way, as trade in prices can often be very low.

Be prepared for the conversation

Before you go to a dealership, have a price in mind that you’re willing to pay and stick with it. You may even want to bring a friend for support as some can find negotiation quite intimidating.

If you can’t reach an agreed price, shake the salesperson’s hand and give them your phone number. Tell them to give you a call during the week if things change and explain that you’ll be searching elsewhere in the meantime. This in itself can sometimes achieve a breakthrough before you’ve had a chance to walk out the door, or you may even receive a call later that week. 

Don’t get too attached

We’re not talking about the car here. Buyers often build relationships between salespeople, but you shouldn’t let this distract you from the important factors such as the price, condition, mileage and age of a car.

Remember, once you’ve signed a sales and purchase agreement you are committed to buying the car, so really take the time to be prepared. It will allow you to negotiate with confidence and, if at any point, you’re not happy just simply walk away.

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