There are so many stereotypes about buying used cars. For decades, used car salesmen have had reputations for being scammers and slimy businessmen. They’ll try to sell you a lemon if it means making a quick profit. The common practice would be to lie to the customer about the condition of the car. When the customer drives the used car out of the dealership, it ends up breaking down or having serious mechanical issues within days or weeks. There were very little protections available for consumers in those days. Fortunately, times have changed.
To purchase a used car that works well, you must be vigilant throughout the entire purchasing process. You cannot trust the salespeople ever. They’re not in the business of making you happy, but rather in the business of making money for themselves and the dealership. You need to put your own interests and needs ahead of theirs.
If you want to prevent yourself from purchasing a used car with a lot of problems, you can follow the tips below to save yourself the money and stress associated with this.
1) Purchase Certified Pre-Owned
Most reputable used car dealerships have certified pre-owned vehicles for sale. These are vehicles which have been inspected by mechanics to ensure their functionality and longevity. You won’t need to worry about mechanical malfunctions or your engine not working after purchasing a certified pre-owned. They normally come with a standard warranty to ensure their functionality. This means if the vehicle stops working within that timeframe, the dealership will fix the problem for free.
2) Check the Tires
Even if you purchase a certified pre-owned vehicle or any used vehicle with a warranty, that doesn’t necessarily mean the tires are in good condition. A lot of dealerships will purposely leave old tires on the used vehicles because they aren’t covered by any warranty policy. Therefore, you could purchase a used vehicle that functions well, but still has tires with worn treads. Then you’ll end up having to pay $500 or $600 to replace them. To save yourself this hassle, inspect the treads of the tires on any used vehicle that you plan to purchase.
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3) Price Comparisons
Before you even visit a used car dealership, you should make a price comparison online of the different used cars that you’re interested in. Don’t just go to a dealership without any prior knowledge of what the cars cost. If you do, the salesperson may try to increase the price on a vehicle if they realize you don’t know the advertised price for it.
4) Test Drive the Vehicle
You should always test drive a used vehicle before you purchase it. Any honest dealership will let you do this if they have nothing to hide. But if a dealership won’t give you the chance to test out the vehicle first, then walk away immediately. It is not worth the risk.
5) Get a Vehicle History Report
Do not sign any sales contracts or agreements until you see a history report on the vehicle that you’re thinking of purchasing. Since it is a used vehicle, you’ll want to know as much about its past as possible. Find out if the title is clean or whether it has other liens on it. Perhaps the car was previously involved in an accident or fire, resulting in a salvage title being issued by the insurance company.
Basically, a vehicle history report will show you any hidden problems which might affect its resale value. An honest car dealer will provide this report to you free of charge. If they don’t, then write down the VIN of the vehicle and research it online yourself.