to drive a hard bargain

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - to drive a hard bargain

"to drive a hard bargain"

to demand the best terms when making an arrangement;

to work hard to negotiate prices or outcomes in your favor


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to drive a hard bargain

Bill sells used cars.  He buys used cars and then sells them for a profit.  One day, Susan comes to see Bill because she wants to buy a car.  Susan decides on the car she would like to buy.  She begins to negotiate the price with Bill.  Bill tells Susan that the price of the car is $5,000.  Susan tells Bill that the price is far too much and she will only pay $2,500.  Bill says that $2,500 is less than what he paid for it and that he would lose money.  He tells Susan that he can take $4,000 for the car.  Susan shows Bill that the car has many problems and offers Bill $3,000 for the car.  Bill is a businessman and wants to sell the car but he also wants to make money.  Bill tells Susan that he can accept $3,750 for the car.  Susan points to the rust on the door of the car and says she will only pay $3,500 for the car. Finally, Bill agrees and says to Susan...

"Lady, you drive a hard bargain but I accept your offer"

Bill paid $3,200 for the car so he did not make a lot of money.  Susan really did drive a hard bargain.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to drive a hard bargain

Ned and Grace are a happily married couple.  They have two children and a dog.  One night Ned asks Grace is she would mind if Ned's friends came over to their house on Friday night to play poker.  Grace was not too happy with this request but told her husband, Ned, that he could have his poker night if he:

did the dishes for a week

drove both children to their sport's practices for a week

washed her car for a month

and walked the dog for a month.


Grace drives a hard bargain!


Ned must do a lot of work just to have one poker night.  Grace knew how much Ned wanted to have his friends over and used this information to make the best arrangement for herself that she could.

to drive a hard bargain - Usage:


to drive a hard bargain - Gerund Form:

Driving a hard bargain means a person must make the best deal.

to drive a hard bargain - Examples:

1)  I drive a hard bargain when I need to make a good deal.

2)  You drive a hard bargain when you have very little money.

3)  He drives a hard bargain because he is a good businessman.

4)  She drives a hard bargain because she is careful with her money.

5)  The union drives a hard bargain when it negotiates with companies.

6)  We drive a hard bargain when we negotiate for our clients.

7)  You (all) drive a hard bargain when you see an opportunity.

8)  They drive a hard bargain when they are desperate.

9)  I'll tell you, these two little farmers drive a hard bargain and are very possessive about their produce.

10)  Competition will make the utilities drive a hard bargain with suppliers.

11)  Many people in business like to think they drive a hard bargain. Nobody wants to be thought of as a pushover.

12)  While they drive a hard bargain, they recognise quality products.

13)  Those thinking of buying should drive a hard bargain, and ensure they are getting a good reduction on the price the property.

14)  He had managed to drive a hard bargain while disposing all his wares in record time.

15) We can expect media companies to drive a hard bargain with Apple, to prevent it from securing a monopoly on video on demand 

16)  I hate haggling. I don't see what's fun about driving a hard bargain with people for whom survival is a day-to-day struggle.

17)  But then you can't blame them for driving a hard bargain, that's their right at the end of the day.

18)  Her other argument stems from what driving a hard bargain does to the relationship after the deal is signed.

19)  There is nothing wrong with China driving a hard bargain and pursuing its interests in Africa.

20)  The NFL has been driving a hard bargain with the locked-out officials.