Buying a used car is an essential part of the car buying process. When you’re ready to get behind the wheel, it’s easy to save money and get a great deal when you know how to negotiate.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the top tips for finding a good used car and going into negotiations armed with knowledge.
Tips for Buying a Second-hand Car
Looking for a good second-hand car can be stressful and may feel like navigating a minefield. The following tips should make the process a little easier.
Finding the ideal second-hand car:
- Check out your local newspaper or craigslist website first — they are both full of used cars that are just waiting to be bought!
- Before driving to the dealership, do research on prices and models from other dealerships and auctions to get an idea of what you should be paying for the used car you want.
- If possible, bring along any family members who have good car sense or who have purchased cars before. Discuss prospects with them before buying.
- Save some money by checking out ads online before searching local classified ads or newspaper ads in your area. Most used car dealerships have websites with a large inventory, so you can research the used cars online before visiting the dealership and going over their details with a salesperson.
- Most used car dealerships and auctions also post their prices online. Check out the prices being posted on your local newspaper’s website or any website by searching for ‘used car price’ or ‘last month’s vehicle prices’.
- If you’re interested in purchasing a particular second-hand car model, do not just show up at your local dealership without researching it first. Instead, find out what else is on the lot and then visit one dealer at a time — this will give you more opportunities to compare models and get all of your questions answered.
Financing your purchase
- Find out if you need financing before you begin looking for your used car. Get pre-approved for a loan in order to know how much money you can spend on the vehicle and what your monthly payment will be. Some manufacturers offer special finance packages, for example, Mercedes Finance.
- Pay the asking price for the used car you want. It’s much better to buy a higher-priced vehicle than it is to lose out because the seller won’t move their price as much as you want.
Vehicle checks that should be completed
- Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) of any used car you buy. Simply type in a VIN into your computer to check it out, or take the car to a mechanic for a thorough inspection.
- Ask an independent mechanic to complete a safety check on the vehicle before you make a final purchase decision.
- There are some pros and cons of buying new versus used cars, so discuss them with your family. If they’re all in favor of buying new, then look for a great deal on a brand new car. If your family has no preference, then consider looking at both kinds of cars and bargaining accordingly.
The above tips will help you to be a savvier shopper when in search of a second-hand car. Use the steps mentioned above to get started, and you’ll be an expert in no time!