Helpful tips for buying a used car

Comedians and sitcoms may love making jokes about used car dealers and their shady practices, but are things really like that in the real world?

Buying a used car can be an intimidating process if you're the kind of person that just wants to stick the key in the ignition and see the car go, but there are plenty of reputable dealers out there. All it takes to avoid the shady ones is a little research before you hit the streets to buy a used car.

Avoiding Used Car Rip Offs

If you want to avoid getting ripped off, it's important to arm yourself with as much information as possible before you visit a dealer. Start by working out how much you're willing to spend - not just on buying the car, but running it too.

If your previous vehicle was an old run-about that cost next to nothing to insure, and was "serviced" by a mate that knows a bit about engines, then you might be in for a shock when you see how much it costs to service a Landrover. Make sure you can afford to tax, insure, fuel, and service any new vehicle you buy. It would be heart breaking to scrimp and save for a post car, only to discover that the cost of a BMW service is well beyond your running costs budget.

Once you know what cars you can afford to run, make a list of vehicles that are likely to interest you, and browse listings online. Check owner's forums for comments about those vehicles to make sure you're buying something reliable and fuel efficient.

Now you know what sort of car you want, it's time to do some background checks on your local dealers. Sometimes, this is easy. If there's a used car dealerships near your home or office that you know has been around for many years, then it's probably reputable. If, however, you have "local" dealers that regularly close down, or go bankrupt, only for a new dealer to open in the same spot, then that's a big red flag. If the new dealer has the same phone number as the old dealer, then they're probably the same company, just using clever scams to avoid their responsibilities.

When you're buying a used car from a private seller, most people do background checks on the car. It's wise to do this when buying from a dealer too. AutoCheck can tell you a lot about the history of a car, and it's not expensive to request a check. Even if the dealer say's they've done one, some due diligence can go a long way. Make sure you inspect the car thoroughly (or get a knowledgeable friend to do so for you), and check the car's VIN too.

Don't be afraid of haggling, maybe you can get the dealer to agree to service a Land Rover for you before they hand it over, or discount the cost of a BMW service as part of the deal if it's approaching the required mileage. Perhaps you can get some nice extras, or barter for a discount if you aren't taking credit.

Finally, if you have a bad feeling about the dealer, or you feel rushed or hurried, don't hesitate to walk away. There are plenty of other cars and sellers out there. Trust your gut feeling.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Main Dealer Discount; who don't sell used cars but can help reduce the cost of a BMW service or find you a cheaper way to service a Landrover.


Car warranty said...

Also be willing to haggle over the extended warranty price. Often you can find it cheaper elsewhere, and sometimes dealers will come down in price if you have an estimate before hand!

Ella said...

Equally of importance is the test drive. Most people usually ignore this and base their decisions on the physical appearance of the vehicle. It is very important to take the vehicle on a road test. Some cars may seem to be in very good condition yet if taken for a test drive may show signs of engine problems.

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Stelle Courney said...

Buying a car is no different from buying an item on the market. You have to make sure that ends meet for you, as you are the costumer. Any responsible buyer should do a complete quality check in order to get the most out of your buck.

Erwin Calverley said...

“Trust your gut feeling.”---- Believe it or not, your gut feeling is actually very intuitive. So intuitive, in fact, that this might actually be the deciding factor whether or not you’re going to purchase the car that you’re intending to buy. It’s not just about the bad feeling about the dealer, but of course, with the car itself. When you test drive the car, you will somewhat feel if it’s really the one. (LOL! It’s like we’re talking about love here. Haha!) Well, your intuition will help you decide on this. If you feel happy and satisfied as you drive it, then maybe it’s the right car for you. Before you take it out for a test drive, you should’ve been able to consider everything else. You just have to regard as it as your first step in sealing the deal.

Leisa said...

LOL @ Erwin! Do follow your intuition! Go where you think you’ll feel satisfied. Check carefully the car, inside and out -- quality check, before deciding to purchase it. Be sure to make a good deal too and spend your money wisely.

-Leisa Dreps