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 |  Jul 24 2010, 7:53 AM

Now that the market is on a tentative upswing, there is no time to waste – one of the positive points about a recession is that new-car buyers are in charge when it comes to making a deal.

Data collected from a recent survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that half of those polled believed that they were able to negotiate a much better deal in these tough times. Further results found that around 27 percent of respondents reported no change, while 18 percent said their ability to negotiate has diminished some or a lot.

Other important information gathered from this survey showed that income played a significant role in negotiating tactics. New-car buyers who earned at least $50,000 were more likely to say that their ability to negotiate improved, compared to those with household income under $50,000, while twice as many consumers who earn less said their ability diminished relative to those who earning power was greater.

So how do you ensure you get the best deal? The key to getting the best deal is to do your homework and have a strategy when your go into dealerships. Here are some negotiation tips that will come in handy when you’re ready to start haggling:

  • Be sure to get all dealer quotes by email or phone. This allows you to focus on the dealership offering right car and price.
  • Don’t be afraid to play one dealer off another in order to get the price lowered, and tell them that you’re going with the lowest price, even if it means driving a few miles out of town.
  • It’s important to negotiate up from the bottom line price, not down from MSRP. This tactic keeps you closer to the real target while proving you mean serious business.
  • If you have a trade-in, keep it removed from the new-car negotiation, as it’s a totally different transaction that needs to be managed separately.
  • Stay away from dealership sales events – the showroom tends to be staffed with its best, profit-creating experts during these promotional events.
  • Compare interest rates and get pre-arranged financing. This way, if the dealer can’t meet or beat your best loan option, you still have secured the best rate and are not pressured into taking a bad financial deal to get the car.

[Source: Consumer Reports]