how to buy a used car at a dealer

And if you decide to sell your new car a few years after you buy it, you’re going to lose a lot more money in the re-sale than if you had bought it used.
Before you make an offer, you need to inspect it to ensure you’re not buying a lemon.
By buying a car brand new, you’re basically paying 30% more than you need to.
Edmunds.com Edmunds.com will not only give you the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for a vehicle, they’ll also check what others have paid for that particular car and give you an almost real time market price for it.

(This should also serve to draw out any potential sentient-car crime-fighting partners, as they cannot resist wisecracking and will likely say something cute like, "Geez, buy me dinner first." If so, then you’re done: It’s all cowhide coverings and curly hair for the rest of your days.) If there’s little to no rapport between you and the vehicle at this point, just sight down the trim lines to make sure they’re straight with no fluctuations — offset doors, fenders, and uneven lines could indicate frame damage.
So why do dealerships always want to know your price, payment and trades first? Because it gives them leverage against you: "Oh, well, if we’re going to do you a favor and take this trade-in off your hands, you have to buy one of these pre-selected vehicles." Or, "Oh, you’re financing? Those aren’t our finance cars.
Check those out in advance and start looking up the models you’re interested in, then read up on each one: Comb through car sites like Edmunds, click on forum posts by owners, get the specs and find out about users’ experience with reliability — hell, go to Wikipedia and bone up on the entire history of the model and the powertrain you’re considering.
Back in school, you’d do the same amount of research for a book report on Huck Finn just because an older lady in a paneled skirt threatened you with the alphabet — you can do the same legwork for a multi-thousand-dollar purchase you’re going to entrust your life to every time you leave the house to get a burrito.
Make sure to obtain the vehicle identification number ("VIN") off of the car you are inclined to check out with CarFax, Autocheck, or any other third-party car history company; the VIN is usually found on the lower level end of the windshield, right above the dashboard on the driver’s side.
Peruse consumer reviews, compare Kelley Blue Book values, research resale values and conduct vehicle history reports with VIN numbers.
Ordering a CARFAX Vehicle History Report is worth your time and money and empowers consumers in knowing exactly what they are purchasing.
In states that do allow "as is" sales, the "Implied Warranties Only" disclosure should appear on the Buyers Guide if the dealer decides to sell a vehicle with implied warranties and no written warranty.
That’s because when a dealer sells a vehicle with a written warranty or service contract, implied warranties are included automatically.
When the dealer offers a vehicle "as is," the box next to the "As Is – No Warranty" disclosure on the Buyers Guide must be checked.
For example, if the Buyers Guide says the car comes with a warranty and the contract says the car is sold "as is," the dealer must give you the warranty described in the Guide.
The dealer must check the appropriate box on the Buyers Guide if a service contract is offered, except in states where service contracts are regulated by insurance laws.
If the box is checked but the dealer promises to repair the vehicle or cancel the sale if you’re not satisfied, make sure the promise is written on the Buyers Guide.
If you buy a service contract from the dealer within 90 days of buying a used vehicle, federal prohibits the dealer from eliminating implied warranties on the systems covered in the contract.
Whether you buy from a dealer or a private party, both require equal amounts of diligence on your behalf, including running vehicle history reports/VIN checks, comparing prices, working out financing, weighing car insurance costs, and inspecting and test driving the vehicle.
Before shaking the seller’s hand and signing a check, it’s important to weigh the possible pros and cons of a buying a car from a private seller.
When you select a car through the Appraise a Used Car tool, it takes you to the gateway of all the information you need to make a good buying decision: pricing, reviews, specs, fuel economy and lists of standard features.
Before you contact a used-car seller, you should get a vehicle history report for the car you’re interested in buying.
If you are buying a car from a private party, you just have to make sure that payment is final and that the seller properly transfers title and registration to you.
Once you find a good prospective car, call the seller before you go to see the vehicle.
First when dealing with an individual your more likely to be able to get a better deal depending on the persons situation but with a little chat and some friendly conversation the bartering process is more likely to come out better than if dealing with a used car salesman and on top of that forum users are more apt to give deals to other users.
What I mean is "I have $5000 to buy this compact sedan so I save money, drive my small family and can park in the city much…oooooo look a mustang!" isn’t logical and beyond what you need (no matter what your inner child says).
Plus if you go through a forum like Naxja or AlfaBB (you can tell what cars I’m looking for) you can get a lot of feedback from guys posting about the car that might know more than you, or if it is long distance forum users are often open to checking out a car for you and you’ll be getting an honest opinion back.
Buying on an impulse leads you to decide that you’re going to buy the vehicle before you’ve looked at it, and that makes you do things like inspect the vehicle in the dark and/or in the rain, where you’re not going to look at or see certain things.
My Rabbit pickup and Volvo 240 wagon purchases ended in tears because of major rust issues I missed because the conditions weren’t favorable for a thorough inspection and that my impulse to buy overcame my common sense.
Program Car – is just another fancy name for "off lease" or 90% of the time "previous rental" – That’s where almost every single one of these cars comes from.
My advice is that you should consider buying a new car that fits in you budget so that you will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty if there are any problems.
The companies do usually follow the recommended maintenance so the key components like the engine are probably in better condition than cars owned by private people.
In general, you will pay at least 2% higher APR for a used car than you would on a new car loan but you can offset this by using an online lender that specialized in financing used cars such as the ones we recommend.
Since you are normally buying a used car "As Is," you will want to know about any problems before the purchase.
In addition to the steps required to get a good deal on a new car, when buying a used vehicle there are additional steps you must be aware of.
Out of all the steps to buying a used car, the one-on-one negotiation is the most daunting! You need to use all of the available information to your advantage to drive the price down.
Buying a used car can be a tricky process to navigate because no two cars are the same.
The CarBuyingTips.com "Used Car Bill Of Sale Form" is a useful free spreadsheet (actually 2 forms in one) to help you finalize the sale.
I get a ton of emails from people that ended up buying a used car and later finding out it had been wrecked.
You should pay with a credit card if possible or a check of some type (personal, official check, etc.). With a credit card or check you have a paper trail and some recourse available if something goes wrong.
We’ve seen certified pre-owned luxury cars that have been previously wrecked or have other problems.
It gives you the ability to run as many reports as you want for 60 days so you will be able to compare the histories of any cars you are considering.
Rebuilt Superstorm Sandy cars are just now "flooding" the market.
The rental companies tend to take cars out of service after a year or two so you will be getting a relatively new car that has been well maintained.
The dealers like to advertise things like 175 point inspections but in reality these don’t mean much and they really don’t do much to recondition the cars other than normal detailing.
You can work out a loan with the dealership or manufacturer, but it is also possible to walk into a dealership with financing already secured through a third-party source, such as our official, preferred lender LightStream, an online lending division of SunTrust Bank, and the preferred lender of Kelley Blue Book.
Here are some suggestions: First, make a list of all the things you need your vehicle to do (haul kids, go off-road, get good gas mileage, be absolutely reliable, maintain good re-sale value, be easy to park) and then make a second list of all the things you admire in a vehicle (body style, colors, luxury options).
It always pays to shop around, so check rates with your insurance company before you buy your new vehicle, and then quote & name your price on Progressive online to compare.
You should end up with a list of required and desired characteristics, which you can use to eliminate models that won’t work for you (you can’t haul kids in a two-seat sports car or operate a full-size sport utility vehicle on an economy-car fuel budget).
Typically, sport cars, anything with "turbo" or "supercharged" in the name, higher performance vehicles with larger or more powerful engines and vehicles with four-wheel drive will give you higher insurance rates.
Compare prices, features, specifications and photos of different cars or view our popular comparisons.
Select the city or market nearest you to view local new or used cars, trucks, and vans, for sale right now from dealers.
WELCOME TO AMERCIA !!!!WHERE WE BLAME ALL FAULTS ON SOMEONE ELSE!! THE TRUTH IS A NEW DEALER WILL SCREW YOU IF YOU LET HIM! A USED CAR DEALER WILL SELL YOU WHAT YOU THINK YOU WANT! A CAR IS A CAR NOT A GOD GIVEN AND WILL BRAKE DOWN WITH 50 OR 5000000 MILES! ITS FATE NOT THE GUY WHO SOLD IT TO YOU! YOU WENT TO THEM ! YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT YOUR LOOKING AT OR RIDE A BIKE SO YOU CAN BITCH AT AT BIKE DEALER WHEN THE CHAIN BRAKES!! GROW UP! WE MAKE DECISIONS EVERY DAY SOME GOOD SOME BAD ******* OUR DECISION, WE MAKE ******* OUR FAULT IF IT DOSENT TURN OUT TO BE PERFECT!! EVERYONE WANTS SOMETHING FOR NOTHING IN THIS COUNTRY AND NO ONE WANTS TO WORKS FOR IT, OR SAY THEY MADE THE MISTAKE.
Does the warranty company work with other dealers across the country? If it has a large network, this is a good sign, as it indicates that the service departments probably find the company easy to deal with, which is an accurate litmus test as to how well they will respond to you in the event of a claim.
Another confusing, non-descript charge is "prep fees." Dealer prep should always be figured into the retail price of the vehicle before putting it on a lot.
If you’re buying a used vehicle from a dealer than doesn’t service that make, this is also an opportunity to check out the dealer you might be using for service if you do buy the vehicle.
** Between 4/1/14 and 6/30/14, the average estimated savings off MSRP presented by TrueCar Certified Dealers to users of TrueCar powered websites, based on users who configured virtual vehicles and subsequently purchased a new vehicle of the same make and model listed on the certificate from Certified Dealers, was $3,221, including applicable vehicle specific manufacturer incentives.
Guaranteed Savings represents the amount that a TrueCar Certified Dealer selected by you guarantees that you will save off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") on any in-stock vehicle that is the same make, model, and trim as your Ideal Vehicle.
With Guaranteed Savings, the selected TrueCar Certified Dealer guarantees that you will receive at least a certain, stated minimum savings amount off the base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP").
Every car buying experience includes a road test, but what should a used car buyer look for? Review our Used Car Test Drive Tip Sheet before you take your next test drive.
Who wouldn’t want to buy a certified used car that has been well maintained and inspected regularly? Learn why buying a used rental car is among the best values on the road.
Dealers that sell and service the brand of vehicle you’re considering can use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine whether your car or truck has ever been recalled for a safety defect and whether the repairs were made.
Buying used also means you avoid the depreciation hit new-car owners get in the first year, so a used car can hold onto its value longer, says Ronald Montoya, consumer advice editor for auto research company Edmunds.
Two good sources of information are Consumer Reports magazine’s April auto issue, available in the library or through the Consumer Reports website and JD Power and Associates, a research company that polls buyers about their cars and trucks.
The Federal Trade Commission requires dealers to place a "Buyer’s Guide" on the vehicle that tells whether the vehicle has a warranty and what that warranty covers.
Of course, you can search by any make and model or vehicle type, and sort your results by price levels, average mileage, location, as well as by the CARFAX vehicle history attributes you want to see.
Every used car listing includes vehicle history reported to CARFAX, like accidents, service, mileage, and owners, to help you shop with more confidence.
CARFAX Used Car Listings lets you search for used cars with the vehicle history thatâ s right for you.
Find a used car for sale with the right vehicle history by researching used car values, top brands, and data from CARFAX.
CARFAX Vehicle History Reports are based on information supplied to CARFAX.
Use the CARFAX search as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about your next used car.
Without the use of Carfax or a similar service, we would not have been able to know the entire history of the cars we researched.
CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle.
Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale.
Dealers try to make money off financing, but in any market, cash should get you a lower price.
Cash should still get you a lower price but sometimes financing can work to your advantage, too.
If the dealer won’t give you a deal for cash, ask what kind of consideration they will give you for doing the financing through them.
Point out to the dealer it eliminates a lot of work on their end when you plop cash on the table.
However, a consumer friendly dealership will probably give you time to rethink the purchase and at least provide you equal value.
Make sure you have done your homework ahead of time about the used car’s values and then consult these Top 10 Questions To Ask a Used Car Dealer.

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