If you’re in the market for a used car, you’re probably feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. After all, it’s always nice to have a new car (even if it’s used), but the fear that you’ll get a ‘lemon’ is omnipresent, and you won’t really know if it was a successful purchase until a few months later. Many people claim that if you buy a used car you’re buying someone else’s problems. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to ensure that you get the best deal on the best car. Consider the tips for buying a used car below, and you’ll be enjoying your new wheels in no time.
Best Places to Look for a Used Car:
If you’re concerned about the possibility that parts may malfunction, you’ll probably want to consider buying a used car from a dealer that offers certified pre-owned models that come with a warranty. If you’re looking for a car that is in top quality and lightly used, look for cars that have just come off lease, many of which have low mileage and are in excellent condition. And, of course, if price is your top priority, you can look for a used car in the newspaper or online, as purchasing directly from the owner will reduce transaction fees. However, if you’re buying a used car from a stranger who is not affiliated with a recognized company or dealership, you will definitely want to get it checked out by your own mechanic before making a commitment.
When to Buy a Used Car:
Think of the used car market like the clothing market – there are always times (such as the holidays) where you knowyou can expect a sale. When it comes to used cars, prices usually drop around the New Year, as that’s when most dealers are looking to move their inventory to make room for new merchandise. But if you don’t manage to make it to the dealership during the busy holiday season, you can likely find additional deals throughout the winter, when fewer people are buying. Making the effort to shop around in the cold can really pay off!
Another good time to purchase a used car is at the end of the month when salesmen are often desperate to make their quota, and are more willing to offer serious discounts. If you’re an especially savvy shopper you can shop around at the beginning of the month but save the negotiating for the end. It also helps if you get at least two price quotes for the make and model of your choice, so that you can play one price against the other during the negotiation process.
5 Smart Shopping Tips:
- Most cars come with a 3 year/36,000 manufacturer’s warranty, so if you want to rest assured that your car will be covered, look for newer models.
- If you’re getting rid of your old car, find a dealer that is willing to do a trade-in. This will reduce the cost of your new purchase and will reduce the headaches associated with selling the car on your own.
- When you’ve settled on a specific car, make sure to get it checked out by a mechanic that you trust. Rolling this cost into the overall purchase price can save you thousands of dollars if it protects you from buying a damaged car.
- Run a CARFAX report on any car that you’re interested in to see if it has been in an accident. While this may not be a sign of trouble, it’s something important to know in advance.
- Make sure that the car comes with the proper title and stay away from car salesmen who don’t have the car’s title available.