Buy a Luxury Car

Purchasing a luxury car is an exciting, invigorating experience. Unlike regular cars, luxury vehicles have professional-grade engines, beautiful interiors, more space, and exciting accessories. Researching the kind of car you want to buy and understanding proper negotiation techniques will ensure you get the best price on your new luxury vehicle.


Researching before You Buy

  1. Look for luxury vehicles with advanced safety features. Because you will be paying more than if you were to purchase a regular vehicle, you should make sure that you are getting what you pay for. Luxury vehicles are, on average, more safe than a standard car, with 71% of the new vehicles coming with stability control, traction control, ABS, side-front airbags and curtain airbags being luxury vehicles.[1]
    • Your luxury vehicle should meet these advanced standards, so double check that it does before pursuing the vehicle any further.
  2. Find a vehicle that performs better than an average car. Luxury vehicles should have more horsepower and usually specialize in higher driving performance.[2] Each vehicle’s performance information should be available on any car listing website, but if you have questions call a dealership to clarify that your car matches these performance standards.
  3. Make a list of your wants and needs. There is a wide spectrum of features when it comes to luxury vehicles and it is important to know what you are looking for.[3] Decide whether you are in search of comfort, size, or speed and make a list of your priorities. Categorize the list starting with the things you need and ending with the things you want.
    • Your list may include items including special interior accessories, up-to-date technology, speed, a custom paint job, or extra space and comfort.
  4. Decide between a sedan, an SUV, and a sports car. Reference your list when deciding between these three luxury vehicle categories. Understanding exactly what kind of luxury vehicle you are looking for will expedite the research process.[4] Choose the category that best matches your list of wants and needs and make a decision.
    • Luxury sedans are the most practical, balanced choice of the three. They are practically sized and will allow you to save money on other accessories.[5]
    • Luxury SUVs will give you size if it is on your list. The extra space will come with a higher price, so be sure that more space is at the top of your list.[6]
    • Luxury sports cars will be speed-oriented. With these speciality engines will also come a higher price.[7]
  5. Create your budget and stick to it. During your research you will see that the prices of luxury vehicles will vary drastically, with new luxury vehicle costs ranging from $30,000 to more than $200,000.[8] Before you begin your search, take a realistic look at your finances, dedicating no more than 20 percent of your take home pay to your budget.[9] Once you have this price in mind, do not make exceptions. Staying on budget will keep you from spending more money than you have.
  6. Purchase a new vehicle if you have the budget. When purchasing a new luxury vehicle, you are guaranteed certain amenities. For example, new luxury vehicles will come with the most up-to-date technologies, will need less maintenance, and will come with all of the newest comfort features. Purchasing a new luxury vehicle will also eliminate the chances of more costs down the road.[11]
  7. Purchase a used vehicle if you want to save. Buying a used vehicle can be much cheaper and will give you the opportunity to buy from a private seller, which will save you the headache of negotiating with car dealers.[12] You can find many used luxury vehicles on private seller sites like craigslist, but they are also sold at car dealerships as well.
  8. Weigh the downsides of purchasing a used vehicle. Although you will save a good deal of money upfront by purchasing a used luxury vehicle, it is important to consider the drawbacks of this route as well. The financial gains will be immediate, but it may not be worth the sacrifice in the long run.[13] Consider the downsides of purchasing a used luxury vehicle before making the decision:
    • Because they have more miles on them, used cars usually need more maintenance and could override the money you saved by buying a used car.[14]
    • A used luxury vehicle may not have all the accessories you are looking for and will be more difficult to customize.[15]
    • Used vehicles will have outdated technology, depending on how old they are. If the most up-to-date technology is important to you, consider purchasing a new car.[16]
  9. Research different options and prices online. Educate yourself by visiting websites like, and to receive price quotes before you enter any dealership. Many local dealerships will be able to provide you with a quote online. Use this research to compare local companies and use this information when you decide which dealerships to visit later.[17]#Compare your quotes with the dealer’s cost. Visit websites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds to compare the quotes with the True Market Value, or how much the luxury vehicle costs to the dealer.[18] Take this information with you when you visit dealerships in person. The more educated you are, the better chance you have of negotiating a fair price later on.[19]
    • If you are purchasing a used vehicle, check the vehicle’s history report at This will show you if the car has suffered from any significant damage in the past and will help you negotiate a fair price.[20]

Visiting the Dealership

  1. Visit several dealerships before negotiating a price. Visit the dealerships that gave you the best online quotes for your luxury vehicle and inspect the car yourself. Make it clear to the dealer that you are visiting several dealerships to find the best deal, and walk away after inspecting the car thoroughly.
    • This will keep you from being sucked into negotiations too early and will allow you to inspect the car more than once before negotiating a price.[21]
  2. Keep your options open. While visiting the dealerships, keep your eye out for other luxury vehicles that meet your criteria and budget. During this shopping phase you may come across a luxury vehicle that fits your needs more than anything you found online, and you can then go home to do more research. [22]
  3. Take the car for a test drive. At every dealership, ask to test drive the luxury vehicle you are interested in. This opportunity allows you to handle the car yourself and should reveal any drastic problems with the vehicle. Luxury cars should drive very smoothly and be as comfortable as possible, so make sure the car fits your criteria during the drive. Do not be afraid to ask the dealer for quiet during the test drive, as many dealers will distract you by speaking about the vehicle during the drive.[23]
    • Make sure the car idles smoothly and does not make any strange noises while the car isn’t moving.
    • Pay close attention to the handling and brakes, as these are key safety features of every vehicle.[24]
    • Inspect the interior of the car to ensure the vehicle has been cleaned and taken care of.
  4. Leave immediately after test driving the car. It can be very easy to get sucked into negotiations right away, especially after driving a luxury vehicle. Stay on course and be sure to visit every dealership on your list before speaking with any car dealer in detail. This will allow you to explore all your options, and will keep you from making any impulsive decisions that you may regret later on.[25]

Negotiating with the Car Dealer

  1. Bring your research with you to the dealership. Print out the lowest quotes you received from other dealers and the true market value of the vehicle and bring this information with you as leverage. From this information, decide on your highest possible price and commit to not going over this price. Having the facts in hand will allow you to keep the negotiation on course and will keep you from getting a bad deal.[26] If the dealer starts bringing up the price, show the dealer your numbers and insist on the price you want.
  2. Have a credit report ready to present to the dealer. A common way for dealerships to get more money from potential customers is through credit checks.[27] By knowing your credit score and having it available during the negotiation, you won’t be susceptible to this trick. If a dealer says that you do not qualify for a better rate because of your credit score, present the document to the dealer so that they know you mean business.
  3. Ask a friend or family member to come with you. Having backup during a negotiation is a great way to influence the negotiation. Ask your friend or family member to be very doubtful and unsure of the deal, ultimately putting pressure on the dealer. If your partner is constantly trying to talk you out of the deal, it will be easier to leave a negotiation if it doesn’t work out, and will also give you an upper hand when looking for a reasonable price.[28]
  4. Keep the negotiation peaceful and light. You will have nothing to gain from getting angry or tense with the car dealer, so be respectful and friendly.[29] By keeping things under control and playful, it will keep the stakes down and keep things from getting out of hand. Remember that the car dealer is only doing their job and that getting angry will not benefit you or get you a better price on your luxury vehicle.
  5. Do not make the first offer. Allow the dealer to come to you with a price first, and insist that this price is too high. Because car dealers are paid on commission, they often will start with a very high sales price on the luxury vehicle.[30] Keep your highest price in mind and insist on a better deal. The dealer will often begin with the car’s list price but will be willing to bring the price down if you are insistent and well informed.[31]
    • Show the dealer your other quotes and refer to the true market value of the vehicle if they are unwilling to bring the price into your range.
  6. Pay close attention when presented with the Foursquare sheet. A common method among car dealers is to use a Foursquare sheet, through which they will attempt to illustrate their deal to you. Pay close attention to what the dealer is saying, and feel free to ask the dealer to speak slowly. The dealer will record the purchase price, down payment, monthly payments, and trade-in value on this sheet and ultimately present you with a price.[32]
    • By going slow and clarifying anything that is unclear on the Foursquare sheet, you will understand the offer and be able to make your counteroffer from an educated perspective.
  7. Make your own counteroffer and stick to it. Once the negotiation is underway, make an offer that is slightly below your highest price and be strong. Although it is okay to make some concessions, never go over your highest price point and do not allow the dealer to guilt you into changing your mind. Stay strong and do not let the dealer control the situation. State your price and refuse any offer the dealer comes back with.[33]
  8. Walk out if you are not getting the price you want. This is a strong tactic that will show the car dealer that you are serious about the negotiation. Because you have other quotes and dealerships to turn to, never settle for a higher price than you want. Walking out will send a clear message to the dealer and will often result in a lower price on your luxury vehicle.[34]
    • Once you walk out, stick to the decision. If you are lucky, the car dealer may follow you out and offer you a better deal.[35]

Finalizing the Deal

  1. Read through the deal closely before signing. The dealer could add extra expenses into the deal without your knowledge, so it is very important to read through the deal carefully. If you see extra costs for extended warranties, paint protection, or interior protection, insist to take them out of the price. These add ons are often unnecessary and could drastically increase the price of your luxury vehicle.[36]
  2. Do not sign the paperwork until everything is filled out. Before signing the paperwork, double check that every piece of the paperwork is filled out. This will extinguish the chances of the dealership falsifying information once you leave.[37] If you have a friend or family member with you at the dealership, ask them to double check the paperwork for you.
  3. Do not pay a deposit until the deal is done. There is no reason to give the dealership any money until the deal is completed.[38] If the car dealer asks for a deposit before the financing paperwork is finished, refuse. This will ensure that you do not lose out on any money if the deal falls through. The negotiation is never finished until the paperwork is signed by both parties.
  4. Do not drive the car home before finishing the paperwork. Never leave with the vehicle before you are sure that the financial paperwork is complete because it could be part of the dealer’s ploy. If the dealer offers the car to you before the paperwork is complete, the dealership could then call you back for more negotiations. It is best to finalize the transaction before taking the car home with you.[39]