Tips For Buying Used Vehicles
February 14, 2016
In this capitalistic world, buying a car is almost everyone’s dream, and most people save towards fulfilling this. The dream of most people is to buy a new car from the showroom, but let’s face it, not all of us can get a new one. A used car offers a great option at a lower price; the trouble is knowing how to differentiate between something in condition and one that is not, to avoid being conned. As a mechanic, I have learned a few tricks on how to know if you are getting a good deal or being swindled.
Check the vehicle history report
Before jumping into a deal, the first step is to do a background check on the car you are being offered. I get my vehicle history reports from companies that deal with cars. I produce the vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate. In case the history report speaks something negative, this gives me the first red light not to proceed with the transaction. The history report shows a lot about a car, such as if it is a salvage title or if the odometer has been rolled back among other things.
Reach out to the seller
Reaching out to the seller always gives me an upper hand even before I see the car, as I have an opportunity to verify what has been put in the advertisement from the seller. Sometimes the seller can mention something that was not put in the advertisement that can be another red flag. I usually make a list of questions that I would like to ask before I contact the seller. On this list, I make sure questions regarding the price come last. Most people fall into the temptation of negotiating the price; I wait till I see the car so that I can tie my price to the condition of the car.
Do a test drive
Any good seller should allow me to do a test drive, whether I have offered him or her my price or not. Test drives enable me to not just see the condition of the car, but also see if the car is right for me. Take the car on a highway and feel how it moves, try it on a hill or a slope and feel how it handles such conditions. Once I have gone for the drive, I ask the seller for the service record to see if the car has had maintenance on time. I avoid getting cars that have a history of accidents and major repairs including transmission rebuilds, valve jobs and engine overhauls.
Do an inspection on the car
Before entering a deal, I ensure that the car is inspected, which has come to save me thousands of dollars. As a mechanic, I have the advantage of knowing how to inspect cars. I advise people to take their cars for inspection by an authorized mechanic before entering a deal. This is usually easier with a private dealer than a dealership company. In case it is a dealership, you do not need to get a mechanic.
Time to negotiate
If I like the car up to this point, I enter negotiation. I decide way before on how high I can go with the price, but I start from a very low price to ensure I get the best deal. I am aware of the dealer’s tricks of trying to derail my negotiation when they offer unnecessary things such as anti-theft devices and unnecessary warranties. I am always prepared to walk out as this has proved time and time again to be my strongest negotiating power. Once we agree, I close the deal.
Putting into consideration these tips can help you find a good used car. I have helped buyers seeking for used cars get the right ones by following these tips.