Skip nav to main content.

Financial Resources

How to Strike a Deal on a Used Car

You’ve found the car of your dreams, and it’s time to strike the deal. Dealers and some private sellers have a lot of experience negotiating, but you likely don’t. Arm yourself!

Before you negotiate:

  • Determine what a fair price for the vehicle might be: Look at used-car pricing guides such as, Kelley Blue Book (, and NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Appraisal Guides (
  • Have sufficient cash or make financing arrangements with SIU Credit Union ahead of time.  If you apply online today at, you could get a rate as low as 1.99% APR for 60 months*.
  • Calculate how much you can afford based on your budget. Decide to walk out if the seller exceeds your limit.
  • Have an expert check out the car, even if you have to pay for an inspection. Organize your notes from:
    –     The expert
    –     Your test-drive
    –     The car’s history and maintenance.
  • Ask an experienced car owner to go with you.  Agree that if this person says you should leave, you leave.

    What else?

    –     Only agree to negotiate with a person with whom you feel comfortable;
    –     Look at it as a business transaction;
    –     Be prepared to spend at least an hour negotiating.

    Decide ahead of time that you’ll leave if you get tired or hungry. Your hunger and fatigue are power chips for the seller.

    Your power chips are endurance and a willingness to walk.

Are you ready?
Let the negotiations begin!

Copyright 2012-14 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.
*Annual Percentage Rate. APR is determined by an evaluation of the applicant’s credit history and the loan term. Subject to credit approval. Your APR might be higher based on your credit score. Offer valid September 13 – 26, 2015. Maximum term: 60 months. Offer applies only to 2004 and newer vehicles not currently financed at SIU Credit Union. All rates subject to change at any time without notice. No additional deductions allowed off promotional rate. Payment is deferred for 90 days. Interest begins accruing upon disbursal of loan. Title transfer fees payable to Illinois Secretary of State apply. Payment example: 1.99% APR for 60 months is $17.53 per $1,000 borrowed. Membership required. Federally insured by NCUA. Call 800-449-7301 for additional details.

Leave a Comment