3 Important Tips to Buying a Good Used Car
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Have you ever wondered why mechanics and car guys ALWAYS have a story about how they bought a great running car for $500? It's because their knowledge of cars reduces their risks of getting a lemon! I'm not saying you should become a high level mechanic in order to buy a car. I'm saying, if you just spend some time researching and learning, you can greatly enhance your chance of getting a better deal.
In the car business, knowledge is power and can save you thousands of dollars. You can get an much better car based on the amount of learning and research you decide to do. In other words, do your homework on the vehicle year, make, and model. Check consumer reports, reviews, and recalls. Google, YouTube, and the internet are amazing tools that are readily at your disposal and will help you tremendously when you are buying a car.
The make and model of every car has positive reviews and negative reviews, so check them out. Be sure to check for "warranty enhancements" and "recalls". You can easily find good usable information about the general reputation of any car you plan to buy.
This requires some work on your part. But it doesn’t take a whole lot more time and effort than what you already spend on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, every single day. Replace that time with researching gaskets, oil pans, tie rods, bushings, rear seal leaks, transmission leaks, and other things you may find under the bottom of a vehicle.
Cars are not rocket science. I know It ain't glamorous! It ain't fun! It aint even particularly interesting. But it will save you time and lots of money, if you are serious about buying a car.
You are about to spend thousands of dollars of your hard earned dollars, so learn just a tad bit about what you are going to purchase and what to look for in the process. A person that knows something about cars gets better deals because they are less likely to be duped. So when you find a car you like in your search, research the recalls on the vehicle, research the consumer reports on the vehicle, and research what owners have said about it. But also, know what to look for and what to check out on the car and underneath the hood!
A car may look good when you open the hood, but gravity is undefeated. Every car problem can't be discovered by looking underneath, but many can. Never buy a car without having a trusted mechanic look underneath the car. Ask to keep the car overnight, or take it for a test drive. When you take it for a test drive, use that opportunity to take it to a mechanic. Or meet the person selling the car, at your mechanics shop, or at a public shop. Put it on a lift, and you and the mechanic go over the underside of the car together.
Carry a flashlight. Problems can be hidden in the dark. If you have to pay $50 to the mechanic, or $40 for an oil change in order to get the shop to put it on the lift, do it...Its worth it if you are serious about buying the car.
If you buy the car, great. If you don't buy it because you discover something you don't like....that's great too and it only cost you $40 or $50, but it could save you thousands. This is money well spent. Trust me. The one thing you don't want to do is use your money to buy a lemon, so you have to do your due diligence.
Never be afraid to walk away and never fall in love with a car. Buy your car on logic and common sense, not on emotion! The sticker price of every car is a "starting price", not necessarily the bottom line price. That price on the car is what the seller would like to sell it at, not what they are willing to sell it at. Always negotiate the price and never be afraid, or too emotionally tied to the car, to walk away. Don't try to negotiate from a position of desperation.
Desperation makes you a weak negotiator cause it destroys any leverage you may have! Avoid being desperate, and be able to walk away if you don't feel comfortable buying the car. This is HUGE! This ability to be able to walk away will make you more patient, more careful, more picky, and ultimately more successful.
"You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate" - Chester Karass