Used Auto Buying: Negotiating with a Used Auto Dealer
When it comes to getting the most for your money, buying a used auto can be a better decision for your specific situation provided you get a good and fair deal.
New autos depreciate immediately when you drive them off the lot of the auto dealership, and leased autos provide a lot of flexibility but you don’t really own the auto you are driving. But, when you are buying used auto, you must be cautious, and learn how to ask the right auto buying questions. Negotiating and asking the right questions with a used auto dealer will help you protect your finances and get a good deal.
To evaluate a used auto, you need to do a lot of diligence on the history and quality of the used auto. As we always recommend you should obtain a auto history report from CarFax or AutoCheck to verify the details provided by the dealer. Some of the things you want to understand include:
Previous Owners: who owned the auto before it arrived on the dealer’s lot. If the vehicle was traded in to the auto dealers, then you can request to see the auto’s maintenance records with the names of the owners blacked out. If the auto was purchased at a vehicle auction, you should know that it is even more essential that you have an independent mechanic inspect the auto.
Warranty Coverage: in the event the used auto you are evaluating is a certified pre-owned vehicle, you should ask the dealer what is included in the certification process. Whether the auto is certified or not, one of the most important questions relative to negotiating with the dealer is finding out what warranty protections are included with the purchase.
Clean Title: making sure the auto has a clean title and has not had any significant damage or accidents will help ensure you are getting a quality vehicle. Along with the auto history report you acquire, you should ask the dealer for one as well. Most auto dealers have an agreement with CarFax and AutoCheck, and will provide the report to you at no cost to help answer your auto buying questions. If the auto dealers that you’re in negotiations with refuse to provide this service, it should make you think long and hard about what they may be hiding.
Once you are comfortable with the history, background, and warranty coverage on the used auto you can negotiate pricing. We always recommend pulling used auto values from sites such as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADAGuides to help you during the negotiation process. In addition, you should have print outs of other comparable used autos in the area so you know what else is in the market. Finally, if you are buying a low cost auto, you may want to ask the dealer how much he is willing to sell for if you pay cash. If you’ve got the cash, you could save lots of money.
Collect all the applicable pricing and value guide information on a used auto before you head to the dealership, to help eliminate negotiation problems at the auto dealer.