There are many benefits to buying a used car, but one of the biggest issues people have with that is dealing with used car dealers.
These set of people are notoriously shady, and no matter how hard you try to avoid it, it is unlikely that you will ever leave a used car dealership without having lost, at least, a couple hundred bucks to the dealer.
If on the other hand, you are selling to a used car dealer, here are tips on what to do when selling to used car dealers.
With the tips outlined in this post, however, you can reduce how much extra money you have to shell out for your used car.
Know Your Budget
Apportion a sum of money to close the deal, and stick to your budget. Don’t get to the dealer’s and get carried away by the sight of shinier cars that are way above the amount you earmarked for the deal.
Another advantage of having a budget and sticking to it is: when you get to a used car dealership, the salesman will look to entice you with “great deals” on cars out of your budget range. He may even tell you that, “the car costs more on any other day but you are very lucky to have come in today, seeing as we are having a sale.” Don’t fall for it, they say that every day and to every customer.
Do Extensive Research
When you have decided on the car you want, do extensive research on it. Look for people who are advertising the same car; yes, the condition may not be tip-top, but their pricing will give you a good idea of how much to budget.
Know the different periods to buy different cars. For example, convertibles are the rave during the summer but once it starts to rain, no one wants to be caught in a convertible. Using this knowledge, you can get a good deal on a convertible during the rainy season, and keep it in your garage till later.
Also, keep in mind that dealers have quarterly targets to meet, and bonuses are given out to those who sell the most every quarter. Because of this, the best months to buy a car from a dealership are March, June, September, and December. They need to sell cars quick, so they will be more flexible in their valuation and negotiation. Be careful, however, not to go too late in the month. By that time, sales may have been tallied for the quarter, and all good deals, gone.
Go Along with a Mechanic
Some used car dealers allow prospective customers take a test drive in the car and take it to a mechanic of their choice. Some don’t allow it, but nothing stops you from going to the dealership with a trusted mechanic.
While you inspect the body and the interior, your mechanic can go to work and ensure that there are no leaks or more serious problems.
Haggle, but Be Realistic
If you go a dealership and they have a no-haggle policy, turn around and leave. Why do you think they have the policy? To save you/them time? To make things easier for you? Wrong! They have that policy because they want to exploit you as much as possible with you having no recourse but to accept.
Look for used car dealers that allow negotiation the old-school way, in fact, look for as many as three of them (depending on how much time you have), and use the offer from one to beat the other’s price down. One of the biggest leverage you have as a buyer is the power to walk away. As long as you let the dealer know that you are willing to walk away from a bad deal, you have a bit more wiggle room.
In the bid to get an affordable car, don’t get carried away and go home with a cheap car. If it looks too good to be true, then it’s not true. That Mercedes that is priced ridiculously low is not a “steal”, something is wrong with it, whether you can see it at the time or not. If you let greed erode your good sense, you may end up with a car that will do nothing but cost you repair money on end.
Don’t Finance the Sale Through the Dealership
Used car dealers will offer you third-party financing for your new car, unless the rate is at 0%, never agree to it. If you need to finance through a lender, use your bank or a reputable lending centre; these places will offer you better rates.
There is a reason why the used car dealer is offering you in-house financing, and no, it is not because he is your friend. A used car dealer is friends with a customer the way a hawk is friends with chickens.