Buying Cars – What To Consider When Buying a Used Car

There are many places you can go for buying used cars. You can go to a used car dealership or one of those John Elway car superstores like Carmax or Hertz. Most car dealerships do not just sell new cars. Most have their own used car lot. A new car dealer will take in trades in order to sell their cars. The good used cars will remain on their used car lot, while the ones that are not up to the quality standard get sold at a used car auction.
You can also look online at or Lastly there are the online classified ads like on or various other online classified sites. Craigslist has thousands of cars on it. Most are from private parties, so you would not have to deal with a pushy car salesman. You do need to check with your state agency, or tax adviser, however to see if the tax rules would apply.

Check The Car Out With A Mechanic If Possible
It is always a great idea to have a mechanic do an inspection of the car you want. This is even if it is at a dealer used car lot. My experience with some car salesmen is that they will do anything to sell a car. You need to trust and verify always. Most dealers do a good job at inspecting their cars before they go on the lot for sale. However a little more due diligence never hurt anything and could save you rebuying some else’s lemon that they traded.

Run a Vehicle History Report
The easiest thing to do is to run a vehicle history report as additional due diligence. Most of these services are automated as they are online. Carfax is easily obtainable on the Internet and you can have your vehicle report in a matter of minutes. The report will alert you if you have any title issues or prior accidents. Body shops can do a great job putting cars back together. The last thing you want is a car that has been in a wreck. Not only are they worth less but they can be dangerous as well.

Arrange Financing First – Then Go Shopping At The Dealer
If you have your car financing arranged prior to you going to the car lot to buy, you will most often get yourself a better interest rate. One of the ways that a car dealer makes money is by selling the car loans. You guessed it, the higher the rate that you get from them, the more that they make when they sell the paper on the secondary auto financing market. You can check out car loan rates online or go to your local credit union or bank.
Typically car financing is quick and approvals can be given to you in less than an hour. This is much different than a mortgage which can take up to a month to complete. Do not disclose to the car dealer that you have your own financing until you have negotiated a price. If they know that they are not going to be doing the loan for you, they may want to raise the price of the car. Do not feel bad about it, it is just a game. There is nothing wrong with paying a fair price for something. You do not need to over pay either. A little information will go a long way in saving you some money.
If you follow the simple rules that have been laid out here, you will have a much more enjoyable car buying experience. Just because it is a used car does not mean that you do not have to do your preparation. If you are uncomfortable with the deal just walk away or go home and hop on the computer to verify the prices that they are giving you. The information is all available online.