Car buyers unwilling to haggle hard

A new survey of the nation's car buying habits has revealed that more motorists are now prepared to negotiate over the price of a new model as the recession continues to bite.

However, not all are happy to haggle very hard, and one in 10 say they are not planning to haggle at all, according to the research for Sainsbury's Finance.

Last August, 79% of would-be purchasers were ready to haggle when buying a car, but this figure has now risen to 90%. However, a third of these are prepared to haggle only slightly.

This unwillingness to negotiate could mean that purchasers are paying as much £200 million too much for cars, Sainsbury's Finance said.

It added that buyers should be aiming for an average discount of around £1,780, which is twice the average discount eight years ago.

Steven Baillie, head of Sainsbury's Loans, said: "The car industry is facing a very difficult time, with sales of new cars well down so far this year.

"This means that now is one of the best times ever to negotiate a significant discount on the price of a new vehicle."

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