Good used cars are a far better deal than new cars. The best used vehicles have years of life ahead of them, and someone else paid for their depreciation. However, many people buy new cars because of the uncertainty and risk that comes with used cars. Here are car buying tips so that you can avoid these risks when you go shopping for used cars.
Research the Dealer as Well as the Vehicle
You’ve probably heard the advice to research the used car models you’re considering. What is their reliability history? What recalls are they subject to? What are the reviews of both the newer and older models? Then you know what model years to avoid. However, you need to research the used car dealer almost as well. After all, you can’t trust a vehicle sold by a dealer with a history of hiding problems with used cars. Other dealers won’t honor the warranties they offer customers in an attempt to ease their concerns about the used car. Research the reviews regarding the dealer and pay attention to those reviews placed months after the person bought the car. Did the transmission or electrical problem turn out to be bad? Did the dealer refuse to do the work they promised to do?
Don’t Include Your Current Car in the Deal
Many of us choose to sell our current car to the used car dealership when we buy the old one. It is convenient. It sounds like a deal, too, because they make it sound like you’re getting a discount on your replacement vehicle by trading in the old one. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case. You’ll generally get more if you sell the car as a private seller. You can also sell the car to any dealer at any time, whereas the place you’re buying a replacement car from will manipulate the trade-in price and new car price to guarantee their profit margin. In summary, you should negotiate the car purchase and leave your current car out of it.
Have Your Own Financing
Selling used cards is but one profit center for the dealership. Many of them make money financing the purchase or by repairing the vehicles. They may make extra money by offering extended warranties and having extra work done to the car like “detailing” and applying restorative coatings. You can say no to the unnecessary extras like additional detailing, but you can only buy the car if you have your own financing. This isn’t an issue if you’re paying cash for the car, but it means you need a car loan approved before you can buy the new car.
Have It Thoroughly Checked Out
Don’t just kick the tires and look inside the hood. Have the car inspected by a mechanic of your choice, not the mechanic at the dealership selling you the car. Do a VIN number search and make sure the title is valid. Never buy a car if it is listed as a salvage vehicle. Pull a vehicle history report, and never buy anything that has been flooded. Be wary of anything that shows as having been stolen, since you could lose the car if it is not a legal sale. This is one point in favor of buying used cars from dealerships instead of from private individuals.