Are you in the market for purchasing a used car? I’m sure that you want to find the best deal possible on your next ride, but where do you go to find a deal? And how do you even know you got a deal when you make that purchase? Follow these steps and you’ll be certain to have the car that you’ve been looking for, and at a great price.
1) Stay Away From the Dealer – I really don’t have anything personal against dealers. I have some friends that are car dealers actually, but I know that in order for their business to survive, they need to sell their vehicles at a retail price. And, they never make mistakes on their pricing, which means that you’ll most likely never find a deal.
2) Take Your Search Online – You can save a ton of time by cycling through all of the cars online each day. And, rather than looking at the cars at the dealership, you can easily pursue the cars that are for sale by owner, all from the comfort and convenience of your personal computer. In order to find a deal online, locate a website specialized in used cars in your local area.
Typically, the used cars listed for sale come from both private individuals and dealers. Focus on the private sellers as they are mostly interested in getting a few hundred bucks more than what they were offered from the dealers, which could mean an amazing deal for you.
3) Test Drive and a Mechanical Check – When you’re buying a car from a private party, you want to make sure you’re not buying a lemon. Take it for a test drive and listen for any odd noises that are coming from under the hood, from the wheels, or from the frame in general. If you hear anything out of the ordinary, you’ll definitely want to take it to your local mechanic to get it checked out.
4) Check the Reviews – Even if things check out at the mechanic, you should still take a look at car reviews for the make and model that you are test driving. If there are more bad reports than good, then you might just want to leave that car alone since it might cost you more down the road. Many online car sites will make it easy on you via reading full reviews, searching an extensive database of used listings and last but not least choosing between two and four cars to see how they compare on features and performance.
5) Start the Negotiations – I absolutely love to haggle for a good price on a car, but some people have a really hard time with this part of the car purchase (which is why they might just head to the dealer and pay the sticker price). Negotiating a fair price can be quite simple actually. Take a printout of the recent Red Book value on the car, write down any repairs that may need to be done to the car (dents, scratches, repairs that the mechanic found, etc.), and then simply tell the seller, “The car is worth this amount in good condition, but with the repairs that I have to make, it would only make sense for me to make the purchase if I could get the car for ____ (whatever you think might be their lowest selling price). If they don’t go for it, you can come up a hundred bucks or so, but if they don’t bite, don’t be afraid to walk away. They will either chase you down and agree to your price or they’ll let you walk. If they let you walk, it’s ok. There are plenty of other cars on the market.