The Number One Rule For Not Getting Screwed At The Car Dealer


Buying a car can be a daunting experience, especially for those who are not familiar with the process. Car dealerships can be intimidating, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a new set of wheels. However, it’s essential to remember that car salespeople are trained to make a sale, and their primary goal is to make a profit. This means that they may not always have your best interests at heart.

Over the years, many car buyers have fallen victim to unscrupulous dealerships and sales tactics that can leave them feeling frustrated, ripped off, and regretful. But fear not! There is one simple rule that can help you avoid getting screwed at the car dealer: know the market value of the car you want to buy.

Why Market Value Matters

Knowing the market value of the car you want to buy is crucial because it gives you a basis for negotiation. Without this knowledge, you’re at the mercy of the salesperson, who may try to convince you that the car is worth more than it actually is. This can lead to you paying more than you need to, or worse, getting stuck with a bad deal.

Market value is the price that a buyer is willing to pay for a car, based on its make, model, year, condition, and other factors. It’s the price that the car would sell for in a fair and open market. By knowing the market value of the car you want, you can:

 Make an informed decision about whether the dealer’s price is reasonable
 Negotiate a better price with confidence
 Avoid overpaying for the car
 Identify any add-ons or extras that are not worth the cost

How to Research Market Value

Researching the market value of a car is easier than you think. Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Check online pricing guides: Websites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and TrueCar provide pricing information for new and used cars. These guides can give you an estimate of the car’s market value based on its make, model, year, and condition.
2. Look at listings for similar cars: Check online marketplaces like Autotrader,, and Craigslist to see what similar cars are selling for in your area.
3. Check with local dealerships: Visit other dealerships in your area to see what they’re selling the same car for. This can give you a sense of the going rate for the car.
4. Use car-buying apps: Apps like Carfax and CarGurus provide pricing information and can help you find the best deals in your area.

Putting the Rule into Practice

Now that you know the market value of the car you want, it’s time to put the rule into practice. Here are some tips to help you negotiate a better deal:

1. Don’t show your hand: Don’t let the salesperson know how much you want the car or how much you’re willing to pay. Keep your cards close to your chest and let them make the first offer.
2. Make a low offer: Start with a lower offer than you’re willing to pay. This gives you room to negotiate and can help you get a better price.
3. Be willing to walk away: If the salesperson is unwilling to meet your price, be willing to walk away. This shows that you’re not desperate, and they may be more willing to negotiate.
4. Don’t fall for extras: Salespeople may try to sell you add-ons like extended warranties, maintenance plans, and accessories. Make sure you carefully consider whether these extras are worth the cost.


Buying a car can be a daunting experience, but by knowing the market value of the car you want, you can avoid getting screwed at the car dealer. Remember to research the market value of the car, don’t show your hand, make a low offer, be willing to walk away, and don’t fall for extras. By following these tips, you can negotiate a better deal and drive away in your new car with confidence.


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