There are several benefits when it comes to buying used cars. The most obvious reason is cost. It is a well-known fact that, while some hold value better than others, value drops drastically once the car drives off the lot. Of course, buying a previously owned car can be a daunting task, unless the savvy car buyer knows what to look for.
It is best to buy a certified pre-owned car from a dealership. Here in Los Angeles, there are numerous dealers to choose from. All you need to know before you start is what type of car you are looking for. When purchasing a certified vehicle, the buyer is all but guaranteed a top-notch ride.
Preparation and Research
Before starting the search, get an idea of how much the vehicle might cost by using the Kelly Blue Book website. This gives a base price and a great starting point for negotiations. Furthermore, it is almost never a good idea to jump on the very first car. At some point, most car buyers start to use their emotions instead of their brains. It is paramount to walk into a dealership with the intention of not finding anything. This does two things. First, the buyer remains un-frustrated after not finding anything. Second, this prevents the buyer from emotionally buying that could cause empty wallet syndrome.
The first step at the dealer is a test drive. How else does the buyer know that it’s what he/she wants? Remember, this car could be owned for a very long time so it’s important to be happy with it. When test driving, check everything out. Make sure all the buttons work; the radio sounds good; the windows function properly and anything else that may be important. This does two things. First, anything that is found can be used as a bargaining tool. Second, you really want to be happy. Most likely, especially if it is a certified pre-owned car, everything works fine. However, you may not like the positioning of instruments and buttons.
After a used car is tested and liked; a vehicle history report must be obtained from the dealer. It is always a good thing to know how many owners the car had, as well as how the car was maintained. Obtaining this report protects the buyer from purchasing a lemon, either mechanically or structurally due to a previous accident.
One of the most important rules for buying used cars is not to over extend the price or monthly payment. If the negotiation isn’t going as well as planned, walk away. One thing is for certain, there are plenty of cars out there.
Jesse Dugan is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @JesseDugan.