Buying a used car is a process that requires you to take very specific steps to get the maximum savings. If you look at it in this step-by-step way, you will never again overpay for a vehicle or get stuck. Buying a used car requires a bit more homework, but in the end can be quite rewarding.
Here are seven important used car buying tips to follow the next time you need to buy a used car:
1. Know your Budget in advance and never stray from it
Going outside of your budget is a surefire way to get buyers remorse. Determine your top dollar before you ever even begin shopping and stick to it regardless of the cars that come your way. At any given moment there are thousands of vehicles within your reach that you can purchase. Never feel as though a better opportunity will not present itself. It always does if you are patient.
2. Do your homework on the model
When you identify the vehicle that you are interested in, it then becomes very important to learn about the car. Dig deeply into the different models and figure out common problems that they might have. Now that we are online as a society, it is very easy to learn a great deal of information about pretty much anything. Do your homework on the make and model of the car before you ever even consider making an offer.
3. Get a vehicle history report
There are countless websites available today that can provide you a vehicle history report. These reports are invaluable when it comes to learning about the title history of the vehicle as well as previous wrecks and odometer readings. I know that CarFax does a nice vehicle history report, but really you can get one almost anywhere. This is great because you don’t want to buy a used car that has had a lot of problems.
4. Get their price first…always
When you first contact the seller, get their price up front. This allows you to establish a baseline for negotiation and it gives you some idea of the amount of cash they are looking for. Ignore anything they say about the price being firm or their bottom dollar. This is simply codewords for their hope that you will be too dumb to negotiate.
5. Have your mechanic check it out
Take the vehicle to your own mechanic and allow him to check it out as thoroughly as possible. This is not going to guarantee you a perfect automobile, but it certainly will rule out most of the major problems. If the vehicle history report comes back clean and your mechanic certifies that the car seems in good shape, you are well on your way to making an offer.
6. Check for service records
The final step before making an offer is to ask them for the service records and any repairs done to the vehicle. This particular step is not necessarily a deal breaker but it can certainly play into negotiations. A car that is well-maintained and has all the service records to back it up is going to hold a better value than one that does not. If they are missing the service records but the car still checks out okay you can use that as a bargaining chip in your favor.
7. Offer a price that allows you wiggle room
Now that you have done your homework it is time to make an offer. Always allow yourself plenty of room to negotiate and offer a price well below what they are asking. The reason for this is because a large portion of sellers will be willing to go lower but they are not likely to take your first offer. Offer extremely low and then work your way from there.
As many of you know, buying a used car is going to save you a lot of money, but these used car buying tips will save you even more.
What are your tips for buying a used car?
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