1. Do your research. And I can’t stress this enough. With the internet, pick out a selection of 3-5 cars that you want to look at.
2. Use competitors against each other for the start of the haggle. For example: You have seen two 2005 Honda Civics for sale. One is listed for $17500 and the other is listed for $17000. Use that in your opening statement with the sales person. “Hmm I really like this car but there is a similar one down the street for $500 less.”
3. Now that the negotiations have started, point out the flaws. Used cars have many. Dings, scratches, mileage, these are all things that need to be noted to the sales person when negotiating price.
4. You have to realize that most dealerships buy these cars from auctions at a third of the listing price. So when they tell you that a certain price is the lowest they can go, they are most likely giving you bull. Find a price that seems the most realistic to you and stick by it.
5. If all else fails and they are unwilling to go down in price much and you still want the car, try and get things town in such as all-weather floor mats, gap insurance, even free oil changed for a year. It never hurts to ask!
Hopefully these hints and suggestions will help you haggle down the price and get you into your new car!