Costly Mistakes

If you have read through all our previous posts you’d already have the basic information needed to buy a used car. To buttress our points and keep you in track, todays post is about the two major mistakes you should avoid when buying or trading-in your used car that could cost you a lot of dollars.

Ignoring the Vehicle History Report

Rusty carKnowing the history of the used vehicle you are interested in buying could save you a lot of money either immediately during the bargain process or eventually. You shouldn’t buy a car without requesting for a report whether buying from a private seller or dealership. If they don’t provide it, order one using carfax or autocheck – all you need to get a report is the Vehicle Identification number. Take the car on a test drive but if it’s your first car or time driving, you probably won’t know what to take into consideration. Red flags can easily be missed especially for an untrained eye or hand. Having a history report rather simplifies that process. It contains information about where the car has been before it gets down to you, whether it has been involved in any accident or major repairs, the vehicle mileage, number of previous owners and even whether it has been reported stolen. Have a rethink about buying any used car with a not so good vehicle history as keeping them would cost you more in the long run.

Failing to Negotiate

Jack Nerad, executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book says “A consumer’s best weapon in the dealership is their feet. They can walk out at any time and they’ll probably find as good as or better deal the next day or week.”

The job of the salesman is to convince you to buy from them. Ensure to have done all your research and comparisons at home. That way, you can have the upper hand in negotiations. A car can be sold for much more than it’s worth if your bargaining skills are not sharpened. Financing allows you to understand the upper limit of your price range. When you know how much you can spend on a used car, you know exactly what your budget is, which makes negotiating prices with the seller easier. Taking into consideration everything you’ve learnt about the car and your budget, negotiate the finance options also (Yes, make counter offers on the interest rate offered by dealers); go to your credit union or bank to get a pre-approved rate before applying through the dealership. Think about the overall cost not just the monthly payments and decide whether to finance your car through the dealer or bank.