Negotiating The Purchase of New and Second Hand Boats
New boats: Timing is important when buying a new boat. Special deals are often available during boat shows, towards the financial year-end of the boat builder or dealer, and when a model is due to be superseded by an updated version. So do all your research, be aware of model cycles, decide what you want to buy and then try to negotiate at the best time.
If discounts aren't on offer or are lower than you would wish, you might do better to negotiate the inclusion of ancillary equipment in the price; items such as ropes, fenders, lifejackets, GPS, depth sounders, chart plotters and even deck cushions, a CD system or a cooler bag. The value to you is higher than it costs the dealer to supply these items, so having some of them 'thrown in' can be a good compromise.
Second Hand Boats: With used boats, the selling price might represent great value as it is, but then again it might not. Only your research will tell you which way round it is. However, any combination of the following should help you to persuade the seller that there is room for negotiation:
- Ancillary equipment that is missing, in poor condition, not working, out of date or not included in the sale;
- Faults and rectification work required and identified by you or your boat surveyor;
- Lack of documentation such as:
- Original sales invoice and evidence of VAT compliance
- Builders certificate and CE declaration of conformity
- Boat manual
- Service history
- Current safety certificate on a canal boat
- VHF radio licence (if applicable).