If you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle, that means you’re looking to save money. After all, auto loans are typically more expensive than personal loans and they don’t have tax deductions like mortgages. So how can you save when buying a used car? Adasha Marketing helps in buying a quality pre-owned vehicle.
Here are 10 tips to help you find the perfect pre-owned vehicle and buy it at an affordable price
1. CASH IS ALWAYS KING.
This is true for any purchase, whether it’s a new or pre-owned car. While buying with cash means you’ll pay more in sales tax, you won’t have to deal with a long-term loan and the interest rate that comes with it. You’ll also be able to negotiate your price without the added pressure of financing looming over the negotiations. If you have cash in hand (or can quickly access it), sellers will be much more willing to work with you on price because they can still profit when selling for cash.
2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Research is a pre-owned buyer’s best friend. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid will help you find the right vehicle at a good price. You should know the cost of basic maintenance, gas mileage, insurance, and repair costs on any vehicle you buy, especially if it’s used. Don’t forget to factor in taxes and title fees too. When comparing different cars, base your decision on the overall value rather than just price. Some cars lose most of their value as soon as you drive them off the lot; others depreciate at a slower rate.
3. TAKE THE MONEY AWAY FROM THE DEALERSHIP.
Your best bet is to find a dealership that will give you a better deal than you’ll receive at a private sale. When buying at private sale, the buyer is the only one who benefits from negotiating and there’s no push to sell a car to an in-house dealer instead of a used car lot. Just make sure it’s not too good to be true, such as “pay $1,000 down with 90 days’ no-interest financing.” That’s usually just an empty promise from a used car dealer that hopes you won’t have any cash on hand or time before the term expires.
4. USE THE RIGHT AGENT.
You don’t need to go through a dealership to get your vehicle financed—and you may end up saving hundreds of dollars in interest by doing so. Whether you decide on a private sale or look for a used car dealer online, utilize the power of the Internet to search out any potential private sellers, as well as dealerships with strong ratings and reviews.
5. REALLY BLOW THE DEALER’S WINDOW FOR YOUR DETAILS.
Being able to get in and out quickly with a vehicle is great, but keep in mind that you may end up paying a hefty premium for the convenience. If you can wait a few days, be sure to consider how much more it will cost you to buy the car that day. Likewise, if the price of a vehicle is negotiable, be prepared to walk away after meeting with the seller. Even if you decide on making an offer and the seller accepts your offer, there’s no guarantee they’ll send in the paperwork to finalize the deal. Just because they say they’ll do it doesn’t mean they will–or won’t do it later or at all. They may be waiting for your money and paperwork to secure the deal.
6. MAKE SURE YOUR CREDIT IS GOOD.
If you’re planning to finance a used car, make sure you can get a viable lender or find a lender that accepts your credit. A poor credit rating is often enough reason for companies to turn down even the most qualified buyers, and it can be nearly impossible to repair a damaged history. There are, however, lenders that offer financing without requiring a lot of paperwork just like private sellers do. To ensure you have access to these lenders, find them online on websites such as consumeraffairs or realcreditinfo.
7. LOOK FOR DISCOUNTS ON DEFECTIVE VEHICLES.
Search the Internet for used car dealers in your area who advertise that low prices don’t mean that all their vehicles are perfect. A private seller may be willing to accept a vehicle that needs some work to make it drivable, and you can save hundreds of dollars by buying it at a lower price than you’d normally pay for similar vehicles—complete with warranty and full maintenance history.
8. DON’T PAY TO DRIVE IT HOME.
Much like buying a used car from a private seller, paying to have someone drive it home is no bargain at all. Most real sellers will tow the car for free or for a very small fee. If you should decide to purchase a vehicle from a dealership, expect to pay more than you would if you were buying from someone else. While this can be an inconvenience and a costly expense, it’s usually better than paying too much at a private sale.
9. TRADE FOR A USED VEHICLE WITH CASH IN YOUR HAND.
You’ll have to have cash available if you want to trade your used car for another used vehicle; there’s no way around it. Even when trading with dealerships, cash is always king because lenders will take it over any other form of payment anytime. One reason for this is that you’ll probably get a better trade-in value if you offer cash instead of financing.
10. DON’T LET THE BANK MAKE YOUR VEHICLE PURCHASE.
Even if your bank has approved you for car financing, don’t let them talk you into getting a loan that costs more than it should. If the deal looks too good to be true and they promise to buy your car in the future, then that’s probably what they’re planning on doing. You’ll end up paying back a lot of interest fees and may have to buy a new car sooner than you need one because of the negative equity build-up.