Used Car Buying and Certified Cars

Infiniti Luxury Sport Sedan

Used car buying can be a terrific way to get a great vehicle at the lowest price possible. However, to reap this reward you’ll have to work for it. The seller wants to make as much as possible.

It will be your job to explain why they need to come down a little. You also have to remember that not all used cars are created equal. In fact, you’ll need to be a well-informed shopper to ensure you get the best deal and the best quality automobile at the same time.

See the picture on the right. It’s my most recent used car purchase a 2012 Infiniti M37 Luxury Sport Sedan. It’s a lease turn in with 29,000 miles on it. That makes this Infiniti a one owner used car that still has plenty of warranty remaining on it.

Seven years 100k mile power-train coverage to be exact. In my opinion a certified previously owned unit backed by the balance of a factory warranty should be considered and compared when shopping. Here are a few tips to help you walk away with a buyers remorse free deal.

Perform a Detailed Used Car Inspection

Again this is just my opinion, but I don’t think you should take the salesperson’s word for anything. In fact, I’ll give you a copy of my used automobile worksheet so you can verify the condition yourself.

While it’s very possible they are honest and exude the integrity that they seem to, it is also possible they are just looking for a sale regardless of the true condition of the automobile. Maybe they smile at you, but don’t actually care that this purchase is a big deal for your family.

Therefore, make sure you inspect every inch of the target vehicle. This means looking under the hood, inspecting the trunk, looking at the interior, as well as ensuring all systems including audio, power accessories and heat work as per design intent.

old used car
AC added to this used car

Don’t forget to check the AC even on a cold winter day. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to assess the value of the vehicle, bring along someone with more experience.

If you don’t know anyone with the skill to perform the full inspection, paying for one is money well spent. You can try car inspections from mechanics at chain stores like Pep Boys and Firestone.

Don’t automatically sign up for an extended warranty without careful consideration. While these can be dramatically beneficial they can also be expensive in terms of both initial cost and cost per use.

Consider the Balance of the Warranty

If the vehicle has a large portion of the manufacturer’s warranty remaining and you don’t intend to drive the vehicle far beyond that point you don’t need a warranty.

However, do not discount this option until you have decided whether you need it or not and shopped for it like other insurances. Now lets focus on the car itself. Don’t buy the first model in stock that catches your eye.

Shopping around will give you access to a wider range of options and prices. You could find the same make and model for less at another dealership.

Sometimes the final price is drastically different. In addition, use all the tools at your disposal. This means checking online pricing using popular buying guides like NADA (National Automotive Dealers Association) and the Kelley Blue book site.

Certified Used Chevrolet Suburban

When used car buying do ask for a vehicle certification. This will require visiting a brand specific dealership. For instance, a Honda dealer will have certified used Honda’s, but not a Volkswagen or BMW.

Of course, a certification will raise the price of the car. But this ensures you receive a thoroughly checked automobile backed by the dealership’s in house service department.

In order for a used car to receive a factory backed certified, it must meet rigorous quality standards, set by the manufacturer. Failure to do so can result in some very bad things for the dealership. If they mess up the factory will discontinue the stores participation in the profitable program.

For this reason dealers perform vehicle certifications to the letter and these vehicles remain a good choice for a first car. If you do purchase one ensure you receive a copy of the vehicle inspection checklist.

Documentation and Financing Car Purchases

Note that all used cars should undergo an inspection when they arrive at the lot. Sometimes an automobile will slip through the cracks and not get checked out.

Front End AlignmentAsking for the checklist ensures the mechanic tested all critical systems and, unless otherwise noted, they’re all fully operational. This can give you valuable protection down the road. Save this checklist in a safe place just in case problems develop down the road.

Make sure you find out about financing through another lender outside of the dealership environment. Using dealer financing can be convenient, but usually results in you paying far more than you should.

Consider your local bank or credit union before applying with the dealerships in house finance. Often this can reduce the interest rate and help lower monthly payments.

Keep in mind that this also provides one less place for the seller to hide money. However, it might make it harder to negotiate the best price possible for the car. In addition, this might give you additional purchasing power.

Either way know exactly how much money you have to spend. Following these few simple used car buying rules will help you find the automobile that you need, at the right price. Hopefully avoiding the problems with purchasing automobiles from a dealership. Give this used cars page a bookmark or share with a friend.

This to do and to don’t list is a part of my support information on the subject of vehicle purchasing. This next link will supply more details about the avoidable frustrations when dealing with used cars.

The homepage for this automobile site is available from this next link. See the other covered subjects as well as information on the used car veteran and master mechanic that built this site. This next page takes you to the homepage.