Tuesday, July 30, 2019

13 Ways To Find The Right Used Car For You

Every year, around 40 million used cars are sold in the USA alone. Unfortunately, lots of those cars are sold for inflated prices to unsuspecting buyers who don’t know how to ensure they get the right car for the right price. With some know-how and advance prep, you can dodge the scams and cowboy dealers, and score a great deal on a great car. 

1. If you don’t like the idea of owning an older car, remember that you don’t need to buy a very old car to get the savings. A car that is only a year old is still likely to be significantly cheaper than a brand new car. While luxury brands tend to hold their value better, other vehicles will drop in price over the first year. Keep an eye out for year old models you like to save some cash on a relatively new vehicle. 

2. Choose the right car to save more money on your purchase. If you’re smart about the car you buy, you can get the car itself for less, and save on the running costs later on. For example, look for a smaller car with a smaller engine. These are cheaper to insure, and can be a lot cheaper to run, depending on how you use the car. Petrol is cheaper from the pump than diesel, but diesel is more efficient. If you can drive a manual car, you could save even more, as automatics tend to be more expensive. 

3. Play to car dealership targets. Dealers have quarterly targets to hit, so if you time it right, they may offer you a better price in order to secure your sale. Go towards the end of the quarter, but not too close to the end. If the dealer has already hit target, they’ll be less bothered about locking in your sale, and won’t discount the car or offer freebies to get you to buy. Visit around March, June, September or December to get the best deals as targets loom. Weekends and the days just after payday are bad times to shop. Dealers will be busier, so will be making more sales and have less time to spend with you. 

4. If you’d rather buy from a private owner, look around for what kind of prices cars are selling for. If you’re seeing average asking prices going up, hold off going car shopping for now. Strike when you spot prices starting to creep down again to get a better price. The time of year can help you get a better deal too. For example, people are less likely to be buying a convertible during the winter. 

5. Before you go out to look at any cars, create two different lists to make sure you get everything you need. One list is for the things your new car absolutely needs to have. This could include things like having a spacious backseat for a car seat, or being cheap to run. Make a second list of things you would like the new car to have, but that you can live without if they push the price up too much. This could be things like a built-in navigation system, or room in the trunk for a lot of suitcases for vacations. 

6. Make sure you budget for costs other than the car itself. You’ll need to pay for car insurance, fuel and be prepared for repairs. Do you need a parking permit to park near your home or work? 

7. Don’t just look at the car dealer nearest you. Before choosing a car dealership to buy from, visit a few and make a note of the prices of any cars you like. You can shop around for the best deals. If you find a better deal on a car, but prefer another dealer, you could use it to negotiate a cheaper price. 

8. Never accept the asking price. Go to your dealer with a figure in mind, some knowledge of the car’s value and a lower price from another dealer, and haggle. You could push for a lower price, or try and get something like a warranty, a service plan or a full valet thrown in for the price of the car. Study the car before you buy it. If you spot superficial issues, like small dents or marks in the paintwork, you could use this to try and get some money off too.

9. Give the car a very thorough check before agreeing to purchase it. Check the mileage. Is the car in good condition? Has it had any repairs made and have they been made well? If the car has been in an accident, make sure there aren’t any doddy repair jobs leaving the car in a dangerous state. Gaps in the body panels are a giveaway of questionable repair work. Check the engine and the oil for signs of leaks. Make sure that everything like the lights work before you agree to buy it. 

10. Make sure you take a car you’re considering for a test drive. Does the dar drive smoothly and feel nice for you to drive? Is there enough room in the car for things you need, like space for a dog crate in the trunk, or  car seat in the back seat? Are the passenger seats roomy enough? Make some basic maneuvers like parallel parking to check the clutch and the brakes are working correctly. Test the handbrake, and check all the doors and bonnet. Do any features like the radio work properly? Make sure this car is the right one for you, and that you’ll be happy driving it for the future. 

11. Would you prefer to buy from a professional dealer or from a private owner? Both ways have pros and cons. If you buy from a dealer, you’re more likely to have better protection if there’s a problem with the car after purchase, such as via the warranty. However, a private owner is likely to accept a cheaper price on the car, so could save you a lot of money on the price of the car. 

12. If you have the option, buy your car with a credit card for some extra protection in the event of a problem. A credit card can be used to claim back the cost if the car is wrong and your dealer is unable, or refuses, to refund you. 

13. Dealers will often try to cushion a lower price on a vehicle by selling you a lot of extras that you don’t actually need. Try not to be tempted by extras that you don’t want. Adding a warranty can be worth it, but don’t be sucked into buying unnecessary services plans or luxuries like an upgraded car stereo. Do some research first so you know whether you can find these kind of items cheaper elsewhere. Only agree to extras that you actually want, and be sure you’re paying a fair price for them when you do.


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