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10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Used Vehicle

17-Apr-2014

10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Used Vehicle;

Don’t be intimidated when buying a used car from a used car dealer. Make sure you have done your homework ahead of time about the used car’s values and then consult these Top 10 Questions to Ask a Used Car Dealer.
Remember that being prepared will make the process that much easier and hassle free, go in knowing what you want and then stick to your guns.

1. If the car is certified, can I see the mechanic’s pre-certification inspection?
Every certified car has to go through an inspection before it can be certified. Ask to see that paperwork to find out what was fixed (if anything). It’s a good piece of paper to hold onto for future problems. Not all dealers offer certification and in this case you can always ask to bring the vehicle to an impartial repair shop for a quick look over.

2. Who or where was the vehicle purchased from?
If it was a trade-in to that dealership, ask to see the maintenance records. Tell them they can black out the owner’s name and address. If it was bought at auction, was it from a new car store or maybe some unreliable type of used car dealer? If so, make sure it is gone over with a fine-tooth comb by a mechanic who specializes in inspecting used cars. Remember it’s buyer beware.

3. How long of a test drive can I take?
The used car market is somewhat cold. Take advantage of it. See if the dealer will let you take the car overnight for an extended test drive. Put it in writing that you won’t put more than 100 miles on the odometer, prove you have insurance, and you’ll bring it back with a full tank (if you leave with a full tank). The important thing is to have enough time to feel comfortable with the car and/or to bring it to a mechanic to have it looked over.

4. Is a CarFax report provided before purchase?
A reputable dealership will have no problem with this. A disreputable dealership might, or worse yet, might present a doctored report. Make sure the report’s vehicle identification number matches the VIN on the used car you’re looking at. Again, taking the vehicle to a mechanic can also be as effective or more than a carfax report.


5. What is (if any) the dealership’s return policy?
High-pressure dealerships will probably laugh at this question. However, a consumer friendly dealership will probably give you time to rethink the purchase and at least provide you equal value. No dealership is going to offer you cash back.

6. What is your cash price for this used car?
Cash is king, even at used car dealerships. Dealers try to make money off financing, but in any market, cash should get you a lower price. Figure to cut 5% off the price. Point out to the dealer it eliminates a lot of work on their end when you plop cash on the table.

If the dealer won't give you a deal for cash, ask what kind of consideration they will give you for financing through them. Make sure the rate they offer is equal to or lower than what your bank or credit union would offer. Dealers make money off financing through credit unions and banks, Not from finance companies as sometimes the finance companies have to pay the dealers for customers. Keep in mind that currently (Spring 2013) dealers are desperate for trade-ins to sell to other customers so try to get top dollar for yours.

Cash should still get you a lower price but sometimes financing can work to your advantage, too. Either way, make your money work for you towards a lower purchase price or better, lower mileage unit.

7. What new equipment comes as part of the purchase?
See if you can get the dealer to throw in a set of new tires. A timing belt might be a nice touch, too, if the used car’s mileage is approaching 100,000. Ask if the dealer if they at least changed the oil and don’t be afraid to ask for a full tank of gas either.

8. What service has the dealership performed on the used car since acquiring it?
This helps you determine what value you’re getting for your purchase. Complete overhauls mean you won’t be dealing with service repairs anytime soon after purchasing the car. See above; was the oil changed, are the tires in good shape, does it shift smoothly and how are the brakes?


9. Do you take trade-ins?
One side says that this makes your life a lot easier, the dealership handles this for you and you don’t let get tied up in trying to selling your own used car, especially if you hate selling. The other side says that the dealership will probably make a profit on your trade. A profit that maybe you could have made if you cleaned your vehicle up and tried to sell it for a week or two. Either way, do some research on the vehicles value and try to negotiate the highest amount you can.


10. Be smart and patient and persistent!
Remember that auto dealers do what they do everyday and you probably only purchase a vehicle every couple of years so do your homework prior to car shopping so you’re not at a disadvantage. You should know pretty much what style or type of vehicle you want. You should know how much you want to spend to purchase the vehicle, or what you can afford in a monthly payment and don’t forget to figure in your insurance cost. All of these items combined will make the process much easier and will put you in a better position to make a good purchase. You may have to visit several dealers to put together the best deal you can so be willing to walk away from a deal that doesn’t work comfortably for you.

Good luck and happy shopping !

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