Lifestyle Magazine

5 Tips for Finding Efficient Used Cars

By Nicolas

Purchasing a used car is considered a better spending option when considering that a brand new one may depreciate at a whopping 20 percent in the first year of owning it.

Known for being a burdensome process, buying a used car can be a pleasant experience. With the advantage of a few helpful tips, you will work through your sale with confidence and ease.

Go into your used car purchase like a pro; here are five tips for finding good used cars.

1. Set a Budget

Like any sizable monetary purchase, it is essential to set a realistic budget before shopping around. Whether you are paying in cash or have a pre approved car loan, make sure you have clearly defined your maximum spend. Creating a budget will make it easier for you, in the long run, to walk away from a sale that is not right for you.

2. Choose a Car

Choosing what used car you want to purchase is the most fun part of the experience. Luckily, you can shop around online to get a good idea of what you are looking to buy. Please note a few different options as you might decide later that you don't necessarily like how they drive or look in person.

3. Check Prices

There is no better, more secure way to research car prices than by checking Kelley Blue Book. When you are looking at the cost of a used car, you want to take into consideration these key things:

  • Year, make, and model

  • Special feature options

  • Mileage

  • Condition

As you play around and look at the varying costs, you will start to create a range of your own how much you are willing to pay for a particular car. This range is a beneficial tool to take with you to the dealership.

4. Find Cars Nearby

Check online to see what cars are in your area from the comforts of your own home. Websites will allow you to filter as needed based on make, model, year, location, and even mileage range. Could it get any easier than this?

5. Negotiate Price

Negotiating the price of a car can be stressful, but having done all of your research ahead of time, this shouldn't have to be the case for you. By this point in your search, you should have a solid understanding of the car's actual value.

Some dealers will list the car at a higher price than what you have found to be market value. Knowing the vehicle’s value can help you get a fair price.

Buy in Cash

Cash is king. Remember that coming into the used car lot with a preapproved loan to them means that you are a cash buyer. Many salespeople will try to use the monthly payment as a negotiating term, which may sound good but can throw a wrench in your long-term budgeting plans. If you can pay in cash, you can avoid some financing fees, but with financing in hand upon arrival, you’ll have a better idea of what your options are on the lot.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

If attempting to enter a negotiation with an offer too far below market value, you may run the risk of not being considered a serious buyer. Instead, make an offer low on your predetermined range, but be open to negotiation. There are limits to how low a dealer can go, so keep that in mind while attempting to negotiate. In some cases, the salesperson may offer freebies in lieu of negotiating a lower price. Think about whether such concessions are worth it.

Find Out About Fees

Sometimes there are added fees with weird names you might not understand. Don't leave anything to chance; ask about any costs upfront before signing any documents. You want to ensure that you know exactly what you are paying for and why. A good dealer or car lot will be patient and walk you through every detail. Whenever you’re in doubt, ask for clarification. 

How Do I Find a Good Used Car?

It's simple. Follow these five tips, and you will be driving your perfect car in no time with the confidence of knowing you got it at a great negotiated price, all because you did your homework beforehand. You'd be surprised to see how few people follow these steps before starting communication and end up paying for something way out of their budget. 

Buyer’s remorse is real, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Having read this article, you are one step ahead of the game. Now, the next step is to put to practice what you have learned. After all, is there any better feeling in the world than knowing you got an excellent deal for exactly what you wanted?

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