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Buying a used car is a great financial move which can help you save more money than ever before, but it also involves more risk and unknowns than looking for a new car. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can find a great price on a car without any major maintenance needs.
It’s important to be fully informed when buying a new car in order to avoid common mistakes and potential problems that could require a personal injury lawyer prior to making any kind of commitment. Continue reading to learn the best tips for getting a good deal on your next used car purchase.
Finding a Good Price
Knowledge is power when it comes to negotiation, so it’s important to figure out a fair price for local cars before you start talking to any sellers. This gives you a good idea of what to expect, and you’ll know immediately if anyone tries to charge too much for their car.
Fortunately, there are a number of helpful resources to help you determine a car’s value and what other buyers have paid. You can also check current and recent eBay listings to provide concrete evidence of the car’s current price—as long as you know the real value, you won’t be taken advantage of by unscrupulous sellers.
Once you settle on a specific car, you can use one of many services to learn about its history. While you can get a vehicle history report on your own with the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number), reputable dealers are generally willing to do this themselves. A seller who won’t get a report or give you the number to do it on your own isn’t worth buying from.
The vehicle history report should alert you to any issues, but you should also contact a mechanic for a more thorough inspection. They’ll use a lift to get a full look at the car and make sure there isn’t any unreported damage—this eliminates the risk of unknown major damage and expensive repairs, and inspections usually don’t cost more than around $100.
With this knowledge, you’ll be ready to negotiate with full awareness of the facts about the car and a fair price range in mind. Never start the negotiation process until you’ve taken the time to learn everything relevant about the vehicle.
Used car salesmen work on commission and can be harder to negotiate with, so you can start by talking to the dealership’s online sales manager to get a more transparent idea of their price. Remember to double check that the dealer has the car’s title during the negotiation phase, and ask about any available warranties if you’re interested.
Buying a used car can be complicated, but it should go smoothly as long as you’ve taken the time to learn about the vehicle and prepare yourself for negotiation. These tips will help you navigate the process and get a great deal on your next used car.