For many people buying a used car can be a daunting experience. They picture themselves buying someone else’s problems. In the back of their minds all they can see are mounting car bills. Today’s used car marketplace is much more competitive. There are a lot more high quality used cars available if you are willing to do the homework. Here are some tips to help you through the process.
First, before you even set foot on a car lot or start to peruse the adds you need to figure out what you are willing to spend. Websites like Kelly Blue Book and Car Sense can help narrow down the make and model of car which fit into your price range. If you’re taking out a loan make sure the loan payment fits into your monthly budget. After your finances are figured out it is time to start searching for a car.
Next do your homework. Pick out several car lots in your area then check to see if they have a website. Usually a car deal will offer pictures of their best available used cars. This will give you a starting point. Also check the local stores for free Auto Trader magazines or check their website. Once you have some cars picked out it is time to head to the car lots.
Don’t forget when you begin to look at cars try to take someone with you who knows cars. This way they can look the car over and check for obvious things like spots under the engine and by the tires. Spots indicate fluid leaks. They can look under the hood and tell you if the engine has been power washed to cover up leaks. All the little things you might have missed.
If you can’t find a friend who knows cars ask if you can have you favorite mechanic. It the end it might cost you a few bucks but in the end you may also save a lot of money. Most reputable car dealers will let you get the car inspected. If you are buying a car from a newspaper add try to talk them into letting you get an independent inspection done. To many times car buyers get ripped off from misrepresented cars in newspaper or online ads
If at all possible get a carfax. Some dealers will already have these printed out, but if they don’t you can for a small fee, sign up for carfax and then take the cars VIN number, enter it, and then get what amounts to a maintenance life history of the car. Again spending a small fee to sign up for the service may save you hundreds in car repairs in the long run.
Once you have narrowed down a car of choice try to pay in cash,. A lot of dealers like cash because it means less paperwork for them. So with cash you might be able to negotiate a better price on the car. Also when paying in cash do not let the seller know how excited you are about the car. Appear like you’re ready to walk away at a moments notice. This will help with the bargaining price of the car. Because the seller may not want to lose the sale.