Generally speaking, what a car dealer is willing to sell a car for depends a great deal on the supply and demand of that particular vehicle. If there is a high demand for a certain car, or if the supply of that vehicle is low you can expect the dealer to hold the line on price. He's not going to give you much of a discount. In some cases, when very popular new models come out and the supply is initially low, some car dealers will not sell the vehicle unless you are willing to pay above sticker price!
And guess what? There are always people willing to pay above sticker price to get these new models!
On the other hand, if the demand for a particular vehicle is low, or there is a large supply of a that model you should be able to get the dealer to give you a big discount. He'll be anxious to sell down his inventory of that particular model.
You should check with a few different car dealers and get a feel for what they are willing to do. Do not rush into anything. Go in with the attitude that you are expecting a big discount. Compare, and see what you can get out of them.
When negotiating for a vehicle only negotiate the selling price of the car. Do not let the sales person talk you into negotiating a monthly payment or a trade-in allowance. Keep those items separate from the price negotiation. If you mix them together you will not get your best deal, because you will not know for sure what you are actually paying for the vehicle.
Regardless of whether you are buying a high line car or a cheap one it's up to you to not let the sales person get the upper hand and take control of the situation. Do not be pushed into anything. Let them know you are going to shop at other car dealers before you make your decision. Keep them honest and you'll get the best deal possible.
Remember, when you're shopping for a car you are in control of the whole process. The car dealer can not make you do anything you do not want to do. All you have to do if you are being pressured too much is to get up and leave.
That's your control!
Do not be persuaded to put any money down until after you've made your decision to purchase a particular vehicle and you've negotiated a firm price. A deposit is for the sole purpose of the car dealer having control over you. They use it to keep you from leaving, so they can keep wearing you down. Do not give them that control over you.
There are plenty of car dealers out there who will appreciate your business. There is no need for you to put up with the high pressure tactics some car dealers use to intimidate you into buying and financing through them. Take your time, think things through – in fact, sleep on any deal before you decide – and you'll get the car you want at the best price available.