How To Negotiate With TMV
A student and first-time car buyer writes, "I am interested in purchasing a used 2003 Acura RSX with a sticker price of $7,990 and a True Market Value right now of $7,688. I would like to pay a final price of no more than $8,300 (including tax, registration, etc.) meaning that the price I would pay for the car would be $7,400, almost $300 lower than the True Market Value. Is almost $300 lower than the TMV of a car reasonable? Also, what is a good starting point for negotiating?"
First of all, we're glad to see that you've done your homework, having already calculated the Acura's TMV price plus the likely taxes and fees — not to mention that you're shopping for an RSX, a car our editors deemed "one of our favorite sport hatchbacks" in their review.
Since TMV is basically the average price that people are paying for a car, some buyers are paying more than TMV, while others are paying less. So it's certainly possible that you could purchase the car for $300 below its TMV price. Whether that's reasonable, though, is something that the seller will ultimately have to decide.