Tips For Buying a Used Car

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Buying a Used Car?

If you’re 16 or older, chances are that you’ve dealt with a vehicle of your own. Maybe you received a hand-me-down from a parent or sibling, or maybe you’ve had to look for one to purchase yourself. If you’ve ever had to go through the process of buying a car from a used dealership, or if you will soon be on the lookout for one, please continuing reading this article.


While there are lots of honest, reputable used car dealers out there, there are also plenty of bad car dealers. Used car dealers seem shady because it’s a fairly tricky venture for them. They are, after all, a business and they’re trying to make a profit by flipping a car that has more than likely not been maintained, run into some problems on the road, and countless other possibilities that come with the rough terrain that cars must endure. In this article, I’d like to give you guys some tips for buying a car from a dealership, note alternative methods to purchasing straight from a certified dealership, list common warning signs you need to pay attention to when visiting a used car dealership, and fill you in on certain car salesmen tricks.

Ready to Buy a Car? Do Your Research.

If you’re buying a car from a dealership, make sure you’re prepared. Make sure to figure out or at least have a good idea of the car you want to buy before you hit the dealership. It would be a mistake to walk into a dealership with glazed eyes. Research the car you want to buy. Look into pre-financing options from your bank or credit union, as these are typically much cheaper than those you’ll find at a car dealership. Make sure to negotiate. Start off suggesting a low number and work your way to a fair price. Don’t be harassed or pushed around. You’re the customer. Do not mention your trade in until after you’ve struck a price for the car. By doing this, the salesman will be forced to lower the price after he thought you didn’t know about the trade in value. Don’t buy the extended warranty unless you are sure it’s worth it. Plenty of warranties are very expensive and very limited, not covering the costs of certain mechanical failures that can happen in new and used cars. Make sure you test drive the car and know what to look for in how it drives. Lastly and again, make sure you research. Everything you need to know can be found on the internet, so you should absolutely take advantage of that. You can research online about common hard sales tactics that are used to pressure you into taking a poor deal at someone else's benefit.

There Are a Few Different Avenues For Buying Cars

When deciding where to go to buy a new car, there are a few different options. The best and most reliable is to go through a franchise dealer that’s selling the brand you’re looking at, preferably as a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. CPO’s aren’t a guarantee, but along with an extended warranty that comes with the car you should have a fair amount of assurance that you’re buying intelligently. A dealer is required to make sure a car is safe and will drive well. You can also buy traded in off-brand cars from a franchise dealer, and this is safe for the same reasons buying a popular brand from a dealer is. A dealer has a reputation to uphold, and they’re just flat out less prone to being sleazy about a sale. If a dealer comes into contact with a car that they don’t feel comfortable selling, they quickly ship it off to a used car auction. Here’s where the used car lot comes into play. (There are also private sellers but treat these the same as you would a used car salesman. Some are honest, some aren’t.)

When Buying Used, Know The Warning Signs

Used car dealers go to auctions to buy out cars, then they fix them up and try to make as much profit as possible. This option is riskier, but you will be paying less. Make sure that the used lot you visit has a satisfactory selection of vehicles. If they all look horrible, you should walk. Side note: never buy from the first dealership or used car lot that you visit. Check to see if they have a shop and that the mechanics are ASE (automotive service excellence) certified. If they aren’t, chances are the staff aren’t very capable. Make sure they offer some kind of warranty. Don’t be fooled into driving a car off the lot, only to be out all of your money when it breaks down a week later. The longer the warranty, the better. Make sure you are able to see the title to the car. Never buy from a buy here, pay here lot. These places will trick you by pandering to people with bad credit, but with their high interest rates, bad warranties, and credit protection, you’ll end up spending three to five times what the car is worth. This is how dealers rip you off. Plus, one third of all cars bought at these dealerships are repossessed within the first six months. And to end, do your research. Is the used car lot rated? What’s its rating? A used car dealership like this one is a good example of a trustworthy one. They are fairly transparent, have reviews, a website, the works.


There are lots of options for buying a car, and you should look into each one. Going with a franchised dealer is less risky. You’ll pay more, but for better quality, satisfaction, and a sense of safety. If that isn’t in your budget you can always search for a used car from a franchised dealership, on the internet from a private seller, or from a used car lot. Before you do any of these, make sure you do plenty of research online and figure out which type of car you would like. Research the dealer or auto lot you plan to buy from. Never walk in somewhere without a plan, and make sure to be wary of shady warning signs. Good luck!