The car buying process can be challenging. You may want a specific make, model and color, but it may be unavailable, and you have to work with people whose job is to negotiate and get the highest price for each vehicle. Therefore, these are a few dos and don’ts when you purchase a used vehicle.
First, set your budget, and consider how much you will spend on fuel every week and month. Also, consider how long you plan to keep the vehicle. Write down any questions you may want to ask the dealer. Then, check your credit and get preapproval for a loan if you are not paying in cash.
Then, search for a reputable local dealer, e.g., Albion used car dealers. Search customer reviews before choosing a location. Get referrals from your friends and social media contacts, especially those who have purchased a vehicle within the last year in your area.
Then, search through the company’s online inventory to find vehicles that interest you. Next, research those vehicles to determine the appropriate price, any known issues with the model and find out their advantages and disadvantages. Also, look for promotions and rebates in your area and online. Remain open to negotiation on price and features.
Go to the dealership and do a test drive, and do so with more than one vehicle. Then, have the vehicle and its title inspected completely. Search for vehicles that have certified, pre-owned status and have some form of warranty. Also, consider end-of-the-year purchases, when dealers try to liquidate their inventories.
Approach car buying objectively. Do not allow yourself to follow your emotions when making such a large purchase. Therefore, avoid buying the first car you see and like. Never buy a vehicle blindly and without an inspection of some sort. When you buy a used car, look through the dealer’s inventory. This will help prevent you from overspending, the second do not on the list.
Don’t just listen to the sales representative. Be assertive and vocal. Ask every question on your list. If the sales associate cannot answer them to your satisfaction, walk away. Don’t rush the process.
Avoid only focusing on price or monthly payment. Avoid dealer financing, and don’t allow dealers to shop your application to get you the best rate because this can hurt your credit and possible approvals. Also, don’t forget the additional fees you may encounter, such as tax, licensing and title fees.
Although the process may take some time, you should have a high-quality, reliable used car that meets your needs at your price point at the end of your journey.