We’re a nation of hagglers on the garage forecourt

The vast majority of people buying cars will try to negotiate over the price, suggesting the British sense of reserve disappears when it comes to a new set of wheels.

About 90% of us try to get the price dropped on the forecourt, although research into our buying habits suggest that this ranges from playing hardball to haggling gently. Men are slightly more likely to try their chance than their female counterparts are.

Overall, we expect to save about an average of £800 through negotiating with the dealers.

“It’s encouraging to see that so many people are prepared to haggle and get the best price for the car they want,” says Simon Ranson, of Sainsbury’s Bank, which carried out the research into our buying habits.


The bank also highlighted some top tips for people looking to buy a car:

  • Research prices on similar cars offered by other dealerships or private sellers, including online. Knowledge can give you haggling power.
  • Look for cars that are already discounted – it could be a sign that the dealer has greater pricing flexibility.
  • Don’t look too keen – make it look as thought you might walk away at any moment.
  • Quieter forecourts mean the sales staff have more time to talk to you, and this might make it easier to negotiate.