Haggling for a Car: Why Do We Still Do It?

buying a carA term that means, “To bargain in a petty, quibbling, and often contentious manner,” according to Dictionary.com, haggling is a purchasing technique rarely used today. Besides during Sunday trips to your local flea market, when is this tactic practiced? Oftentimes, when purchasing a car.

Priceonomics recently discussed some of the potential reasons that so many Americans still like to haggle for the best deal on a new or used car, and we at PermaPlate find their ideas quite interesting.

Link Back to Horse and Buggy

The idea of haggling for transportation has a longstanding history – one that reaches much further back than the invention of the automobile. Back when individuals travelled to and from on horse and buggy, it was commonplace to haggle for the price of a horse. Depending on its age and health, price was determined and negotiated until an agreement could be made.

Somehow, as we traded in our trusty steeds for high-speed automobiles, this practice continued and was cemented in stone as more than just a tradition; as a societal expectation.

Every Vehicle is Unique

Think about the pricing you see when you head to your local dealership’s lot. As much as they may look alike, no two cars are priced the same. Why? The abundance of unique features, add-ons and colors that make each particular vehicle a one-of-a-kind purchase (even if they are listed as the same make and model as the one next to them on the lot).

Purchasing a vehicle – whether it is brand new or used – is a huge decision, and with big decisions seems to come more wiggle room when considering price.

But Is the End in Sight?

Although we have all become accustomed to and reliant on the idea of haggling for a new vehicle, this tactic may soon see its end. Back in the early 1990s Saturn initiated a “no haggle” policy, and while the car company did not survive, the idea did. The option to purchase a vehicle online takes haggling off the table, and car companies that are now taking advantage of this purchasing option (like Tesla) have adopted a take-it or leave-it mentality.

From self-driving cars to electric options and online purchasing, so much is currently changing about the automotive industry. For updates and insights on what is new, don’t forget to check back on our blog regularly!

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