How to Buy Used Automobiles ? - Tips for Buying Used Vehicles

How To Buy a Used Car
How To Buy a Used Car

How to negotiate when buying an automobile?

When you buy an automobile, it could be a brand new one or a used one. Let me talk about buying used car (Second Hand Car) today. When you have decided to go for a used car, obviously your priority is to spend less and get the most for your money’s worth. Let’s see how we can get there...

Benefits of buying a used car

You have taken a very smart decision if you have decided to buy a used automobile. You can be lucky enough to have an automobile that’s nearly as good as a brand-new one. Some of the advantages of buying a used car are listed below.

  • You can save money on insurance.
  • You can afford a model with more luxury/performance.
  • Used cars are more reliable than ever before.
  • Some used cars would still be under the factory warranty.
  • Negotiation process is less stressful when you buy it from a private party.
  • Certified used cars that include warranties are now sold by many new carmakers.
  • Bigger bargains are possible for the smart used car shopper.

Steps to find the right used car
Steps to find the right used car

Steps to find the right used car

The steps that follow will help you how to locate, price and negotiate on how to buy a used car.


Step 1: Locating a car

Most people already have in mind the car they wish to buy. But first think whether that car would fit into your monthly budget. I.e. you have to make sure your choice isn't obviously exceeding your budget. Think of other vehicles in the same class. There may be many cars built for the same market, but they are available at lower prices.


Step 2: Saving money by buying second-tier cars

The cost of a used car depends on its condition, mileage, reliability, performance and popularity. You would prefer a car that is reliable and performs well. You will have to pay a premium if you want the same used car everyone else wants. Nameplate is the only difference in some cases. The difference would be much more than you think that separates good-but-popular cars from their good-but-overlooked counterparts.


Step 3: Researching the car

You can find all the information you need to make a correct decision about what to buy on the Edmunds.com used car pages. It will also help you narrow the search by finding vehicles in your area. There you can also read reviews of the car by current owners. Use True Cost to Own (TCO) ®), to see what other expenses you will incur. Make sure you run a vehicle history report on any used car you are considering to buy. Several companies sell these reports, which are based on the VIN. But AutoCheck and Carfax are the most comprehensive among them. These reports can reveal vital information about the used car and it is also the time to decide if you want a certified pre-owned (CPO) car.

If you buy a CPO car that has passed a thorough inspection and is backed by a manufacturer's warranty, the process of inspecting the vehicle to determine its condition is simplified. Most new cars are sold with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty. A car that is 1-3 years old and less than 36,000 miles on the odometer will still be under the factory warranty.

How to Get the Best Deals on a Used Car

Step 4: How to meet the expense?

How to finance a car is first thought that comes into the mind of a smart shopper. This will help you make an informed decision that fits your budget. The following questions will help you determine a realistic price range for a used car and guide you as you go shopping.

How much can you afford to pay each month if you are planning to take out a loan?

How much cash can you put down to reduce your monthly payments?

Step 5: Set up financing

There are mainly three ways by which you can pay for the used car. First way is by cash. The second way is through a bank, online lender or credit union. This method is highly recommended as it saves money and gives you the most control over the transaction. The third way is through the dealer. This method works for some people depending up on their credit scores and the interest rates the dealer is offering. There are several advantages for financing through an independent source like an online lender, bank or credit union.

Step 6: 3 Common places to buy used car

Private parties: This source usually has the most reasonable prices and is also a more relaxed transaction.

New car dealership: Most of the used cars on new-car lots are trade-ins. Dealerships usually get these cars at very low prices. You might get a great deal if you make a low offer. CPO cars that have been thoroughly inspected and are backed by strong warranties are also offered by many dealerships.

Used car lots: Search for used cars with the help of sites like Edmunds.com or online classifieds like Autotrader.com. Specific criteria such as make, model, options and price range can also be searched in some sites. Used car inventory of new car dealerships can also be searched in some websites. Other conventional sources should also be tried though internet is a good source. You can seek the help of your friends and relatives if they are selling any used car.

Set up an appointment for a test-drive while talking to the seller. If possible, make this appointment during the day so that you can see the car in the daylight. This will help you determine its condition more accurately. Run a vehicle history report by asking for the VIN.

Buying A Used Car - Advantages Poll

Why we choose a used car ?

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Step 7: Test driving the car

Test-driving the car helps you decide if it is the right car for you and also helps you determine if it is in good condition. Simulate the conditions of your normal driving patterns by taking your time and take the car up to 65 mph. Test the car on a steep slope if you go into the mountains.

After the test drive make sure that the car has had the scheduled maintenance performed on time. Avoid buying a car that has been in a serious accident or has had major repairs. If possible take the car to a mechanic for a thorough inspection.

Step 8: Negotiating the best deal

Solid information is very necessary for successful negotiation. Look for the price of used cars from the sources available and print out the figures. Dealers have more experience than private parties in negotiation.

The following five points will help you with the negotiation process.

  • Only enter in negotiation with a person whom you feel comfortable.
  • Make a low opening offer.
  • The strongest negotiating tool is walking out.
  • Spend at least an hour in negotiating. I.e. you must be patient.
  • Never let anyone try to improve the deal before you reach a final price.

Make sure the transaction is completed properly, once you have a deal.

Step 9: Concluding the deal

Make sure that payment is final and that the seller properly transfers title and registration to you if you are buying a car from a private party. Before you drive the car away also make sure that you have insurance for the car.

Review the contract thoroughly once it is ready. The cost of the vehicle, a documentation fee, a smog fee, a small charge for a smog certificate, sales tax and license fees are included in it. Get the repair works in writing in a due bill if it has been promised by the dealer. You will be asked to pay with a cashier's check or in cash if you buy it from a private party. Request the title or the pink slip and have the seller sign it over to you before money changes hands. Rules governing vehicle registration and licensing vary from state to state and so make sure to check the registry's Web site in your state. When all the paperwork is complete, it is finally time to relax and begin enjoying your new purchase.

Again, there are many websites that offer this service for a small fee. Considering the amount of money at stake, it might be a good idea to spend a few dollars to find out the history of the car. If there are any accidents in the vehicle’s history, that brings down the value of the car. Any future buyer for the car will also do the same. So you need to make sure you have factored this properly, to limit the depreciation when you in turn sell the car.

Once you have the above strategy in place and the required homework done, it is just a matter of placing the facts before the seller and substantiating why you think your price is right.


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Comments 2 comments

Bedbugabscond profile image

Bedbugabscond 3 years ago from United States

I get it all accept negotiating. I try to prepare myself, but when it is time to do the negotiating I freeze and chicken out. Any tips to help me be a better negotiator? Heck, you could write a whole hub about it, if you haven't already!


Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen Author

Very good suggestion. I will try to include more points so that you can negotiate in a better manner. Thanks a lot for your kind comment.

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