Car Buyers Turn Their Back On Haggling

Often considered the traditional way to get a good deal on your next car, the art of haggling has been closely associated with the car buying experience for decades.


But according to Auto Trader’s new Market Report, the art of haggling seems to be on the decline, with 56% of car buyers who bought a car in the last six months claiming to have paid the asking price or more (including add-ons) – which is 12% more people than last year.


Now released twice a year, around the new registration dates – Auto Trader’s Market Report suggests that for many, haggling on price is an unpleasurable process. Over a third of UK car buyers surveyed (34%) identified haggling as a more uncomfortable experience than asking for a pay rise at work, complaining about food in a restaurant or even asking for a free upgrade on a flight.


51% of female car buyers agreed that more often than not, they would not negotiate when it comes to price as it makes them feel uncomfortable, in fact – over a quarter of women claimed they would rather go to the dentist than buy or sell a car – with more woman even claiming to be more confident in buying a house than purchasing a new vehicle.

Nearly three quarters (71%) of young car buyers within the Millennial age group also claim to be put off from price negotiation for the same reason – with haggling identified as a process they simply aren’t comfortable doing.

But it appears to be an experience that more car buyers are avoiding, as more detailed online research is replacing physical negotiations on price, which is signaling the end of haggling all together.

The reason why the majority of consumers aren’t haggling could be explained by a different approach to car buying shown by the Millennials. 67% of recent car buyers aged 17- 24 claim to have paid the asking price or more, and it’s a percentage that declines with a car buyer’s age.


Nathan Coe, Auto Trader Operators Director, said, “Consumers are now approaching car buying in the same way they do with most other large purchases. Online search has evolved to the point where consumers can compare cars of the same age, similar mileage and engine size – amongst a huge variety of other variables that could affect price – and when these searches are more comprehensive: prices become more transparent.

“As consumers and car dealers have the same expectations on price, the need for awkward haggling that has become intrinsic to the car buying process is eliminated – as both parties have easier access to clear information on car price comparison,” he added.