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Basic Guidelines for Used Car Shopping

Updated on August 15, 2009
2003 Ford Focus ZX5
2003 Ford Focus ZX5

  When shopping for a used vehicle, it is important to get at least a general idea of what kind of car you want before going to any dealerships. Even better if you can decide on a specific make, model and year. Once you get to the dealership, the salesman will try and talk you into buying which ever vehicle he wants to sell that day. For some reason when you tell them exactly what you want, they somehow feel obligated to talk you out of it, and into something else. You can easily learn almost everything there is to know about any vehicle from the internet, especially directly from auto-makers’ websites.

   When you get to the dealership, a salesman will surely greet you and ask if he can help you find anything. Unless you see a vehicle that you like right away, it’s best to tell him you’re just looking for now. It’s easier to wander around on your own and check out the selection without a pushy salesman talking you through everything you see. Once you find one (or a few) you’d like to find out more about, then it’s time for help from the salesperson.

   One thing to remember when conversing with any salespeople, is that everything is entirely up to you. Just because they seem really nice doesn’t mean you need to be super nice back, or let them change your mind. You should be the one asking questions, not the salesman. Don’t be afraid to say no.

   If you are unable to decide what kind of car you want before going to a dealership, don’t go yet. Or at least bring a friend who knows your taste and knows vehicles.

   It seems unbelievable when you hear people talk about how pushy car salesmen are, but it’s totally true most of the time. They will do or say almost anything to sell a car, and It’s important to remember that they are not trying to help you. Stand up for yourself, and remember it’s all about what you want. After all, buying a car is a huge purchase, and you’ll probably be paying for it for at least a few years. Good luck!


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    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 8 years ago

      Ugh, I really don't like car salesmen...I agree, you want to avoid them while looking, and use them only to get the info. you know you want.