Friday, September 17th, 2021
One highlight in most people?s lives is driving off in their brand new sparkling car. It?s an exhilarating feeling. It?s also an expensive moment because at that very instance, that new car will immediately lose a big chunk of its value when you drive if off the lot.
The loss is the difference between the retail price you’ve just paid, and the car?s wholesale value. That?s typically thousands gone in an instant.
That?s why most car buyers will choose to shop around for a used car, even just a few years old. You can then save yourself that steep initial drop in value.
More importantly, you get a car that runs just as well, is just as dependable, and looks and feels as good as a new car.
There are however a few “tricks of the trade” you need to know.
The one pitfall of buying a used car, it?s the risk of buying a lemon, a junker, one that’s been in a major accident, you get the point. If something smells fishy, it probably is.
Used car dealers, after all, has one of the worst reputations in business.
This holds true for individual people selling their cars through newspapers, Web auctions and classified sites, or posting a “For Sale” sign in their car window.
The saying, ?Buyer Beware,? has more meaning when buying a used car.
There are also some real deals out there, so know what to look for.
Finding An Excellent Used Car
We?re talking about quality vehicles that will perform beyond your expectations at a low price, with good gas mileage.
Here?s how to find these perfectly used vehicles, this by knowing the used car dealer tricks they try to pull on you.
1. Always Get A Second Opinion
Used car dealers will bombard you with every objective under the sun to sell you a car. Don?t believe most of what they say.
Instead, find someone you know, whether a neighbor, a colleague, a family member or a friend, who owns a similar brand or model of the vehicle, and ask them for their opinion.
There are also plenty of reviews, and prices of similar cars in your neighborhood or city, if you check on the Internet.
2. Do A Background Check
One of the most unethical, yet legal things someone can do is sell you a used car that?s been in an accident, or one that?s had several previous owners, or is from out of state.
To be sure you don?t fall victim to this, by tracking down a history report of the car, including a clearance check on the vehicle title.
You can even get some of this information from the seller, simply by asking why they are selling the car. You?d be surprised what some will reveal.
3. Look For Damage
Used car dealers are notorious when it comes to attempting to peddle a vehicle, that was damaged in a major accident.
It?s amazing what autobody shops can do to repair a car?s body. So don?t go by the outer appearances of a vehicle.
Before you buy it, make sure it doesn’t have major damage to its frame, which would indicate it was involved in a crash.
4. Bring A Mechanic
Used car dealers, especially the bigger lots, will tell you they put all their used cars through a ?100 point (or whatever) inspection.?
To be sure, you should get a second opinion, by getting your mechanic to check it out.
They?ll be able to tell how good of shape the car actually is in.
Also, be sure to ask the mechanic how often the car had been serviced, as they should be able to tell.
5. Research For Recalls
Some used car dealers may try to sell you a car “For Cheap,” that may be under a recall, so they’re desperate to get it off their lot.
So make sure to check with the car manufacturer, or visit their website, to see if the vehicle has any outstanding active recalls.
6. Avoid The “Lemon” At All Costs
Along with recalled vehicles, dealers may even perpetrate something much worse on you, by trying to sell you a lemon.
(By definition, a lemon is a car that?s usually still under warranty, which has such major problems that, warranty or not, it still cannot be fixed in a reasonable way.)
The best way to avoid this is to research in Consumer Reports or the various other automobile magazines, which will have reviews and warnings on every make and model on the market.
They?ll be able to tell you if a type of car, the manufacturer, model and year, is known for being a lemon and prone to breakdowns.
7. Avoid Freshly Painted Cars
Along with performing their ?100 point inspection,? car dealers may shine and wax a used car, or even repaint it to hide all the dents, dings, and rust spots.
So make sure you have a keen eye, so you can see right through their tactics.
8. Take It For A Test Drive
Once you?ve done all your research, then you’ll know what to look for when taking a test drive.
Drive the car for as long as the owner or dealer will allow you. Take the mechanic if you can.
Then you?ll get a better feel for how the vehicle handles, accelerates, brakes, and otherwise suits your needs.
9. Be Wary Of Pushy Salesmen
From the moment you first talk to the seller to taking a test drive, realize if they get too pushy or appears anxious, to sell the car.
Any dealer or seller who’s in a rush, or are too aggressive should set off a “red flag.”
You should be wondering why the rush? Are they hiding something?
In some cases the seller might just be excited to sell you the car, and actually happy for you, but in most cases, they may be up to something.
It’s better be safe than sorry and always remember, “Buyer Beware.”