Buying a car is exciting. It’s the perfect example of out with the old and in with the new! You’ve already begun looking at different vehicles and narrowing down the type of vehicle you want based on the make and model.
As exciting as it is to purchase a new car, you should keep a few car buying tips in mind throughout the process. If you’ve never purchased a car before or haven’t done it many times, then it’s important to know that there are people out there looking to scam you.
Unfortunately, getting scammed when buying a car is quite common. Don’t let it happen to you. Continue reading below for a list of car buying tips and tricks!
Your first step, after figuring out what type of vehicle you want, should be to start comparing prices. Look up the vehicle you want based on the make and model. Look at several different sites and see what dealers are listing it for.
Keep in mind that private sellers will have theirs listed for a cheaper price than the dealer, but there might be more risk involved buying from a private seller.
You can do a check online on car value sites to get an idea of what a fair value is as well. Once you’ve compared prices, you can get a good idea of what you should pay for that vehicle.
Visit Your Bank
If you’ve found a specific vehicle you think you want to go look at, then your next step should be to visit your bank. Credit unions are a great choice for taking out loans. If you don’t bank with one, you can still take out a loan with them by opening a savings account.
When you visit the bank, have information on the vehicle with you. The VIN number is most important. Your bank will be able to tell you what a fair price for the vehicle is. If the vehicle you want isn’t listed for a fair price, the bank won’t give you a draft for what the dealer is asking.
Instead, they’ll give you a draft for a fair price, and you can use this as a negotiation tool.
Run a VIN Number Check
If you decide to take a loan out with the bank, the bank will run its own VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) check. If you don’t, then you’ll want to run a VIN check yourself. You might have to pay a fee to do this, but it’s worth it and can save you from being scammed.
A VIN check will tell you how many owners the vehicle has had, all different states the vehicle has been owned in, any accidents, and maintenance reports. This information is crucial. If the vehicle comes back as a rebuilt title, then this means the vehicle was totaled and you should avoid making the purchase.
Take It for a Test Drive
Always take the vehicle out for a test drive. When taking it out for the test drive, you should be sure to take the vehicle on a road where you can go over 55 mph. This will give you a good idea of how the car reacts to higher speeds.
Some issues might not appear until the vehicle goes over a certain speed. When testing driving, be very attentive. Listen for all sorts of noises.
You can turn the radio and AC on to ensure they both work, but then lower them so they don’t drown out different sounds that could signal problems.
Have Your Mechanic Inspect It
Have a mechanic come out and inspect the vehicle. If you’re buying a used truck, then there are certain things you want to ensure it has and ensure are in working order. These things might be different if you’re buying a car.
Your mechanic will know what to look for and what to check. Cars that come from up North or if you’re buying in a state where it snows, then look out for rust under the vehicle.
If the mechanic says it passes the test, then you’re good to go. If the mechanic finds any issues, then you can discuss these with the dealer and ask about lowering the price or fixing the issues before selling it to you.
- Ask the Dealer About Discounts
Don’t hesitate to ask the dealer about discounts as well. Some dealers will give discounts on certain vehicles. There are also deals and specials that dealers give out during certain times of the year.
Be on the lookout for these deals and discounts. You can call the dealer ahead of time and ask if they have any current deals or when their next big sale will be. Those are the best times to shop.
Prepare to Negotiate
At last, it’s time to make the purchase. Prepare to negotiate the price before settling with the price the dealer listed. If you have a draft from your bank, then you can use this to negotiate.
The dealer should be willing to sell you the vehicle for the price the bank offers in the draft. If you’re not good at negotiating, then consider bringing a friend or someone with you who is. Don’t feel bad about it either.
Dealers are expecting buyers to try to bring the price down and in reality, they price the cars higher than fair price for this reason. It’s up to you to get them to come down to a fair price.
Don’t Forget These Car Buying Tips
If you’re ready to buy a car, then don’t forget these car buying tips! Knowing a few tips for buying a used car is the best way to ensure you get a good deal and avoid being scammed.
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