Dealerships used vehicles are a great investment when you are looking for a replacement vehicle. There is no denying the fact that any car you purchase will lose half its value as you drive it off the lot. This is why it makes sense to purchase a pre-owned vehicle in good condition and keep it for a few years before selling it again. However, the only way used cars can be a good alternative is if you know how to purchase one.
Used cars offer the most bang for the buck which is critical in a country that is become more expensive to live because of regulations and policies. This gives you more opportunity to lie economically. However, you may end up spending more if you don’t know what to look for in used automobiles. This guide will help you make the best decision when it comes to dealerships used vehicles.
Dealerships Used Vehicles: Identify Your Budget
You need to know the kind of money you are willing to spend before you purchase any vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to never purchase a car that costs more than 20% of your monthly take-home pay in loan repayments. You may want to lower the amount even further if you are on a tight budget. Used cars tend to require that extra attention. You may need to spend more on maintenance, new tires and the likes. You should also include insurance and fuel costs in your cost consideration.
Dealerships Used Vehicles Target List
The next step is to carry out extensive research on vehicles that make for good used buys. Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are two of the best dealerships used vehicles. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot purchase a Kia Optima or a Ford Fusion. In fact, the latter vehicles may just help you save a few thousand bucks.
Make sure to consider more than just brand when purchasing a vehicle. Consider buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle if you want to purchase something that is not older than 5 years. CPO vehicles come backed with long-term warranties by the car maker and not just the dealer selling the vehicle to you.
Dealerships Used Vehicles Prices
Used cars vary significantly in the price range. You can find used cars in independent car lots, dealerships, and used car retailers. There are several advantages of working with a used car dealership. You may want to purchase a vehicle from private-party sellers as well. These are known for offering typically low-priced vehicles.
Dealerships Used Vehicles In Your Area
It is best to work with a dealer that is in your area. You don’t want to find a dealership that is located far from your place. There are several online car sellers, such as Cash Cars Buyers that have a cross-country presence. They also have an up-to-date website with all current used vehicles listed. You can always find one that you want based on your requirements.
Dealerships Used Vehicles History Report
Make sure you always get a vehicle history report regardless of whether you are purchasing the car from a dealer, close friend or family member. This is an essential step that should be carried out in the early stages of negotiation. You should know if the car you are about to purchase has a bad history report.
You can unravel essential information about the vehicle from vehicle history reports. You can find out if the odometer has been rolled back or if the vehicle has a salvage title. You can also know if the vehicle has been declared as a loss by its previous insurance carrier. Major dealerships used vehicles come with the vehicle history report free of charge. However, you should speak with the dealer you are working with to know more about this.
Call Before Walking In
Never make the rookie mistake of running out to purchase a car. You should always call the seller before going to see the vehicle. This gives you a chance to establish a working relationship with the dealer and to verify if the information provided online is actually accurate or not. You can always ask the dealer about the history of the vehicle.
You can also determine if the car has any mechanical problems that wasn’t listed in the advertisement. Besides all this, texts and phone calls can ensure the car is still available for sale and in stock. There are many sellers that don’t divulge complete information in the car listing. You may find out something that completely changes your mind about the purchase decision.
If you want you can create a handy questionnaire for yourself that includes all the important factors. This way you won’t miss out on asking something important. If everything goes well, you can always set up an appointment for test driving the vehicle.
Dealerships Used Vehicles Test Drive
Always set up a test drive during daylight hours. This makes it easier to see flaws in the car. You should ask for a test drive only when you shortlist the make and model. Before taking the car out for a spin, confirm with the dealer that the car is the same one you spoke about earlier on the phone. Make sure you have ample time to test drive the vehicle. These are a few things you should check:
- Is the car easy to get in and out of? You shouldn’t have to stoop or risk banging your head
- Does the car have enough hiproom, headroom and legroom? Check the space in the car’s backseat too.
- Does the vehicle have a comfortable driving position? You shouldn’t have to sit too low or high. Check if you can telescope or tilt the steering wheel for a better fit.
- Check if the seats are comfortable, adjustable, and with lumbar support adjustment. Check passenger and back seats as well.
- The check engine light should not be on. Has it been checked out by a reputable mechanic?
- Is the visibility good? Check the side mirrors and rearview mirrors for potential blind spots.
- Use your nose to smell for oil and gas. That generally indicates a problem
- Check the tires for tread. When were they last replaced?
- Check the brakes too. Do they squeak? Are they prompt in stopping the car?
- Don’t hesitate to pop the hood even if you don’t understand how engines work. Look for steaming, leaking or parts covered in oil. This should compel you to ask some questions from the dealership.
- Air conditioning is another vital component of the vehicle. Does it blow cold? Do the indicators, brake lights and headlights work?
Ask the owner or dealer to show you service records after the test drive. This will give you a clear idea about whether scheduled maintenance was performed on time or not.
Inspecting Dealerships Used Vehicles
Consider getting a mechanic to inspect the car if you like something before purchasing it. This will give you a clear idea about what’s wrong with the car and what to expect after a few months. Generally, prepurchase inspections don’t cost more than $200 which could be expensive for some people who live in high tax states such as WA, CA, and IL. And, this is money well invested since it can alert you of potential problems that may change your mind about purchasing the vehicle.
Most dealerships will not have a problem in allowing an outside mechanic inspect the vehicle. They may even let you borrow the car to take to the mechanic. You don’t need to get this done if you are considering purchasing a CPO vehicle. These cars already come with a warranty and there is no reason to have an independent mechanic inspect it.
Negotiating for Dealerships Used Vehicles
If the idea of crunching and talking numbers feel unappetizing, then this is for you. You should never settle for the asking price. With dealers negotiating and haggling is a given. However, you should save this bit for the last once you have test driven the vehicle and had it inspected. You can start by talking about the amount you are willing to spend on the car.
Make an opening offer to the dealer that is lower than the maximum price. However, make sure it is still within your budget. Never go beyond your budget regardless of how good a car you find. You can always find another vehicle that is within your budget.
Paperwork to Be Done on Dealerships Used Vehicles
The dealership will ask you to sign a contract in the insurance and finance office. You will most likely be offered anti-theft devices, warranty, fabric protection, and prepaid service plans. Consider purchasing additional extended warranty for your peace of mind. Again, this is not something you would want if the car is a CPO vehicle.
Make sure you go through the dealership sales contract thoroughly. This should include the cost of the car, documentation fee, sales tax, license fee, and smog certificate charge. The dealership will take care of the paperwork in most cases.