NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Negotiating with Arnold Clark, Hezbollah and other quasi-terrorist organisations  (Read 1412 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
So I was at the feed store earlier and spotted a second hand Landrover Freelander for sale at the garage opposite (product placement at its best  ;D ). Here it is by the way - sticker price £10,998:

Anyway, I got chatting to the salesman and he offered me a test drive, accompanied by one of their junior staff - ok, I've got time, so why not?

I'm not crazy about the car (the gearbox was notchy as hell for one thing), but I don't hate it either. Anyway, I'm then taken back into the showroom for the inevitable sales negotiation session. And could I get him to knock anything off the sticker price?  Could I hell!

I then asked about loan terms, since I know they make finance commission.....  Nope. "Our prices are already guaranteed to be the lowest", etc etc, repeat ad nauseum. No road tax, no free mats and not even a full tank of fuel offered!

I even tried the line of "You're offering me a trade-in of £1500 for my old car, but the retail price is nearer £2500, so if there's £1000 margin in my trade in, then surely you can do *something* on eleven grand's worth of Freelander, since there's no way you paid that much for it?". Nope. Not a sausage. "The auto game has changed my friend. There's no margin in anything any more, and I'd be losing money if I knocked anything off at all".

So anyway, I'm chalking it up as half an hour's free negotiation training, but can this really be right?  Has anybody had more luck than me at this kind of place recently, or did you get the same story?


"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Aug 2011
They may phone you on Monday if they have had no interest over the weekend.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
I'm actually expecting a call on Sunday, since the salesman said he's on holiday next week, and  doubt he'll want any of his colleagues selling it in his absence. We'll see.

I have to say though:

"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Hmmmm, I just checked the price at At 70K miles (the car I looked at  was on 65K), the prices are:

Franchised dealer: £10,175
Independent dealer: £9,785
Part Exchange: £8465.

So I know they have to cover their risk for anything the car needs doing to it pre-sale or any warranty claims, plus they have to cover their staff and premises costs, but I don't for a minute believe there's no fat left to trim from a mark-up of over £2K.

Do we have any forum members who work / have worked in the trade who can shed any light?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 06:56:18 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Oct 2010
My son has his own business selling mainly vans. But even when they are best value in the area, there's still some room for negotiation. People expect it, and also, as you say, there's a few hundred extra to be made with a finance deal. So I think the salesman was just trying to prove a point and you did right to walk away.

Incidentally, I've got a Freelander - a 58 reg - and the gearbox is lovely. 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 07:18:07 pm by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Sounds as though you were a live study case for the apprentice to see " The master"  demonstrate to the apprentice that he is gods gift to the world who is in control of you or what is more often mockingly said  " How easy it is to sell cars to a dummy " . 

I'm glad you prove otherwise  .

We have the same words at all main dealers as well as secondhand car sale places.

I used to think that the asking price was always the price to pay but as I've go older & hopefully wiser realises in things motor vehicle and re:- big ticket things like land &  houses it isn't , that if there is no joy simply walk away . If they want to make a sale they will comeback to you & then it is you who have the upper hand .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting


  • Joined Jul 2011
I must admit to having noticed that car salesmen aren't into the negotiating in the way of the past - one used to at least get spats, mats and a dog guard out of them but at least they are more polite and good for a free coffee.
And it's not just big ticket stuff you can/could get a deal on - or could a few years ago. My first flat (1973) needed  everything from an ironing board to basic china and i got 10% off. I also once bought 3 microwaves (me, mum amd mother in law) and negotiated a good discount circa 1985. I used regularly to negotiate discounts on Practice stuff to the point where one rep rang me a week afterwards to whine that they'd actually sold it to me for less than cost and their boss wasn't happy <g>. Those days are passing with internet pressures and a whole new culture of 'want it now' and no idea of the value of anything.
As to cars.. well car before last I failed to get a reduction on and the best I managed with my new expensive behemoth was a discount only 'cos it was the showroom model.


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
I've always thought that if someone is interested enough to ask for a discount that the sale was pretty much in the bag and to refuse was to jeopardise the deal.

For me, if I ask and the answer is no, I usually walk away..


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
I must admit to having noticed that car salesmen aren't into the negotiating in the way of the past

Yes, that's my feeling too. Quite why, I don't know, but I suspect the Internet has a lot to do with it. All I need to do in a dealer's these days is nip to the loo, and I have a device in my pocket that can almost instantly tell me the asking price for every car of that spec currently for sale nationwide. If knowledge is power, it doesn't come much more powerful than that!

The other piece of evidence I have is that when I first bought a car in 1998, I remember that all of the sticker prices were £5-600 higher than the prices in the Parker's book (this was for cars priced at £4-5K). The only place that was asking anywhere near the guide price was a car supermarket with a well publicised 'no haggling' rule, though of course all their cars were far too new for me.

This time round, I've noticed that most cars are being advertised at much closer to the guide price, so it does indeed seem that there is less room for negotiation these days.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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I never negotiate.  :innocent:  I work out how much I want to pay in addition to what I think my old car is worth (after research)
Then when I see a car I want I let them ramble on about giving me this that and the next, and as they proceed i do the 'sharp intake of breath' and the sucking my teeth routines.  Eventually they say - OK so how much were you wanting to invest?  I mentally reduce my figure by at least £2000, give them that as the change over price, and watch their faces for reaction.  Depending on that I'll perhaps increase it but no more than my original figure. 

Arnold clark don't like me.  :eyelashes:
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
OK Annie, if you fancy a challenge, go into Arnold Clark Stirling and pose as my Mum or something. I'd be fascinated to see if you have any more luck than I did!  ;D
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Jul 2012
I don't think that this sort of negotiation is saved for cars. My son recently bought a house off plan. In my day it was a good negotiation tool to get carpets, up spec'd kitchen etc plus the price was frozen at the time of paying the deposit. Not these days unfortunately,  he's been told that he will have to pay for turf, fences, flooring and worst of all, if the value of the property increases during the year it is being built, he will have to pay the difference. I don't think it works the other way though!


  • Joined Apr 2013
I think its true that there is an almost coordinated movement for car sales to be sticker price only.
My friend had the 'cant reduce price treatment' and walked away and I thought I could do better - spent over an hour trying to convince them to reduce the car price even to the point that they thought I was a 'secret shopper' sent from head office (overheard conversation) but no luck for me at all and I walked away.
A few weeks ago at a different car supermarket I initially got the same 'the cars are proced to sell' treatment and I was just very specific - I just said I needed £365 off the price to match a fictitious car at a competitive garage - that seemed to work - not bad from a car which only cost just over £5k - so it can be done. 
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Just go into the showroom with a bag containing £10,000 cash, show it to the sales man, then leave.
Bet you don't make it back to the car !
Did similar at Johns Clark Skoda in Aberdeen when purchasing the new skoda   :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Same a few years back at the Peugeot dealer who greeted us with " the used cars are at the back" judging us on our down to earth appearance .


  • Joined Jul 2011
Cash would probably work with an independant but a national dealership would have concerns about their 'duty of care' re money laundering and checking all those notes for forgeries.. all they want is bank transfers for a money trail.In the london area you'd be lucky to get as far as the dealership with that much cash.....


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