This won’t come as a surprise to any of our frequent customers – but at Duffy Motors we eat, drink and sleep cars.

We don’t just service and fix motors, we dream about them. And when we come home from a long day in the garage, we like to tinker with our cars.

It will come as no surprise that Russell, Lee and the team have owned a lot of cars over the years. And some of us have even had stints of selling cars. So we like to think that we know a bit about both sides of the process.

Below are our top tips for buying the best quality used car at the best price.

How to haggle for a used car - Duffy Motors

Always haggle

This first tip might sound obvious, but you’ve got to start somewhere. And remarkably haggling still doesn’t seem to occur to some people.

The key thing to remember is that haggling WORKS. You will have more or less success depending on who you are buying from, but speaking broadly I would say you’d get a cheaper price in seven out of ten attempts. Even with the most minor attempt at arm twisting.

Dealers prices are never fixed and there are all sorts of things can make a difference to them.

Do your homework

Knowledge is the second most important ingredient when you’re trying to get the best deal, after courage.

Before you enter into the haggle, you should already know what car you want to buy. Read some reviews or chat to somebody who’s car judgement you trust (we’re always happy to offer advice to our customers) and narrow your options down to one.

Once you know the make, model and year you want to buy, get a price estimate with a service like Parkers, or browse AutoTrader for similar listings.

Again, it might sound obvious, but when choosing a car remember that you will pay a premium on cars that are reliable. If you are selecting your next car based entirely on price then be warned that the cheapest makes and models might also be the most unreliable.

Private seller or dealer

Private sellers are usually riskier than going to dealers, but you will usually get a better deal. Be war though, that problem car that they are desperate to get rid of could quickly turn into your problem car that you are desperate to get rid of.

If you are buying from a private seller then it is worth trying to organise a test drive with them. Sometimes customers ask us if they can bring a prospective car in for us to have a look at and we are always happy to help.

Be friendly

It can be tempting to treat the salesman like your enemy. And in this case that might be true, but you should still be friendly and polite.

Don’t reveal your budget

DON’T TELL THE DEALER YOUR BUDGET. Especially not your top limit.

If you are in doubt, silence is always the best course of action.

Don’t tell the dealer if you are paying cash

This might sound counter-intuitive because cash often equals a better price. But dealers make more profit from finance deals, so let the salesman negotiate on that basis.

When the deal is done (or close to done) you can always refuse the finance then.