10 best tips when shopping for a used car to get what you want

There is quite arguably nothing that some car buyers dislike more than car buying. If you aren’t someone who enjoys the thrill of the hunt or negotiating a price down, then buying a car might not be your “thing.”

Before you hit the lot to find the car of your dreams, it is important to know some tricks that will have you getting everything you want for the price you can afford. Being prepared is your best weapon when hitting up the used cars dealerships near me. Here are ten tips to keep in your back pocket to pull out when you need them and keep you on your car-buying toes.

1. KNOW WHAT A CAR’S VALUE IS

It is easy to make an emotional purchase when it comes to a car. Before you head out to shop, make sure that you know the value of the vehicles and models you are looking at. Things like condition, equipment packages, regions, mileage and age are all factors that play into what a car is really worth. If you are wondering how much to pay for a car, then you can always google it and see what its value is. Don’t try to lowball or use your car as a trade-in; just bring along the knowledge of what it is actually worth to get the right price.

2. WRITE YOUR QUESTIONS DOWN

When you are in the heat of the moment, it is easy to get caught up and forget to ask the necessary questions. Make sure to think carefully and write all your questions down before you go, so that you won’t be left confused.

3. DON’T SHOW YOUR FINANCIAL HAND

Don’t tell the salesperson how much you have to spend. That isn’t anything that they need to know. Always keep your financial situation to yourself.

4. BE PERSISTENT

If you have a question, make sure that you are persistent in getting the answer. Don’t let a sales associate gloss over the specifics of the car you are considering. If you want to know the information, stay on task and don’t let them sidestep.

5. DON’T BE PRESSURED OR RUSHED

Don’t allow sales tactics to overcome your rational thoughts. Many salespeople will try to use pressure to force you to make to make a decision on the spot. If you need time to think, take it. Making an impulse buy will never leave you feeling good. If it was meant to be, the car will still be there after you have given it careful thought.

6. WALK AWAY IF NECESSARY

Set a number in the sand and don’t ever cross it. If you allow yourself to negotiate past your top price, you will always end up paying more than you can afford. Make sure that you set a limit and are prepared to walk away if the salesperson can’t match it.

7. WATCH FOR ADD-ONS

Don’t be fooled by things like the base price. Make sure that you are aware of the base price and which options cost more. Often you will test drive the highest model, but will be given the base price. Make sure to question all the additional costs before you begin to negotiate.

8. KNOW THE VEHICLE’S HISTORY

Make sure that you get a full report and printout of the car’s history. A VIN (vehicle identification number) is all that you or the dealership need to determine the car’s full history, including whether it has been in an accident and how many owners it has had.

9. HAVE IT EVALUATED BY A MECHANIC

Even if you are buying from a dealership, make sure that you visit an independent mechanic immediately after you purchase a car. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Any reputable dealership should provide you with a “no lemon” policy or warranty for a car for a specific number of hours, days, or even weeks, whether it’s new or used.

10. HAVE YOUR FINANCIALS SECURED

Unless you want to get hit with high finance charges, make sure you know what your credit score and borrowing capabilities are. If you know what rate you can get from an individual lending company, then you won’t succumb to being charged a higher rate by the dealership.

Dealerships are an excellent tool to find the car of your dreams. Just make sure to know your facts, get your questions answered appropriately, and be prepared to walk away if your price can’t be matched. Making an emotional car buy is never a good idea.


Photo Credit: Copyright 2017 Angel Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog

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