The Reality of Buying Used Cars

Framed Used BMW PictureFramed Picture of Used BMW 5 Series

Why buying used cars makes sense even in today's market where the average car is holding its value longer. Perhaps you simply don't want your investment to depreciate by 20% or more the instant you drive it off the dealership's lot.

If so, buying pre-owned is a way to find reliable transportation at a fair price. Towards the bottom of this page you'll find links to more resources you need for proper preparation. Knowledge building on the subject helps assure you will have the best overall experience possible. Some examples of these automotive resources are unlimited book value estimates, Used car inspection guide and a dirt digging cheap VIN report.

First an overview of your choices on where to buy! There are several options available when you buy used cars. You can purchase a used car from a dealership.

You can purchase a used car online, through classified and auto auctions. You can buy them from an individual or you can get one through specialty used car conglomerates that don't sell new cars at all. Which is the best method for your needs? Which option offers the best price? Here are a few answers to these questions.

Buying used cars from a Dealership. A used car from a dealership is the traditional way to do it and the most popular. You walk onto the lot, tell the salesperson you want to purchase a used vehicle and you are directed to their sometimes lacking selection.

This results in the ability to make an immediate purchase, but may not be the best option for your needs. Many times, dealerships raise the prices of their used cars to well-above market value. Obviously this is to provide the best return on investment for them.

This can be an advantage for you because many of the used cars were once trade-ins, the dealership likely has very little invested in the cars to begin with. This means a lot of room for them to come down to a level that makes you comfortable. Purchasing through a dealership can be scary and there are other options.

Buying Used Autos Online

The Internet is full of cars, trucks and vans for sale. You can find these through online classifieds, as well as car auction sites. These are excellent ways to purchase a vehicle at a low price.

But as always buyer beware. Some owners are less than forthcoming about their maintenance practices (or lack thereof), while others make the photos of their cars look better than the reality, in hopes of a quick sale. While these are excellent options, care should be exercised in order to get a good deal. Here is a page I built about Internet used car sales.

Once upon a time buying from an individual was the only option other than a dealership. Private sale cars is still a viable option. But it carries many of the drawbacks mentioned with the online sales options. If you decide to purchase through an individual, ensure that you receive all documentation about the work performed.

Used Car Conglomerates – Dealerships like CarMax and the like have made quiet a reputation for selling used cars. These types of dealerships do not offer new cars at all only stocking their lots with used and pre owned certified cars.

This can be an excellent option for your needs. You will pay slightly more than if you went online or buying used cars through an individual, but you will receive a CarFax quote on the vehicle, as well as service records and recommendations.

Financing is not recommended through these type of dealers. Secure your own before the purchase. You should be able to get a better rate by shopping around. If you go with in house financing make sure to study and understand the contract.

Used car Buyers Beware

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Regardless of the method insist on several things. First run the VIN and check for red flags. See if any documentation proving the maintenance performed on the vehicle is available. You must also receive a title if you're purchasing the automobile outright.

If you are purchasing through a dealership or conglomerate, insist on viewing the service checklist and retain a copy for your files. This provides proof that the seller inspected the car and that the marked systems were operational at the time of inspection.

This comes in very handy if something goes wrong immediately after purchasing the car, though it will only provide protection for a limited amount of time. Being an informed shopper is the way to get the car you need at a price that won't make you nauseous every time you see it.

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Used Automobile Resources and Tools

Would you like to look up as many book values as you want with no obligation? I provide a page that discusses how to use this resource and provides a link. Go to the used car prices page.

Learn what it's like on the other side of the table. See how a used car dealer makes money with his cars for sale.

Find out more about the guy that built this website and get some more answers to common car questions.