Buying used cars can feel like playing the lottery and the odds aren't in your favor yet. Because when the new car warranty runs out and the miles and miles from commutes and road trips start to add up, all that wear and tear will mean car parts need to be replaced and repair bills will start to get more expensive. But fear not, the experts at Car and Driver are ready to help buyers better navigate the large and dangerous used car market. We will provide our recommendations on the most reliable models out there and advise on the purchase of a certified used or used vehicle.
The other trick is to keep your fair market price in the back of your mind. Remember all that research you did at Edmunds and KBB? Use it to your advantage. Start slightly below the fair market price and work your way up from there. It's also worth playing different croupiers against each other.
Never put your price first, make the seller work to start the negotiation and always keep the maximum price in mind. Remember that every penny comes out of your pocket. If you decide to buy, go to the seller and inspect the vehicle. Take a friend and meet in a high-traffic neutral area; some jurisdictions allow transactions in the local police department parking lot.
If the seller refuses to meet somewhere safe, consider it a warning and move on. If possible, ask a mechanic to inspect a used car before completing the transaction. You can use the guide to estimate the market value of the real car you're looking at by evaluating its condition based on factors such as age, mileage, and options. Also, remember that buying from a dealership is different than buying from a private seller, and you can usually get a better deal if you buy a used car from a private seller.
Once you've established a budget, take a look at the types of cars that fall within that range and target some that interest you. Ideally, the seller has no remaining loans for the car they are buying and the title can be transferred seamlessly. If you liked driving the car and it seems to be in good condition, you should take it to a mechanic. It's smart to get pre-approved for a car loan because it simplifies the buying process and puts you in a stronger position at the car dealership.
Contact your dealer or retailer to see if you can get the VIN number for the specific vehicle you're interested in. In California, the biggest problems you're likely to face in a used car will come from past accidents simply because people drive everywhere. Hertz sells nearly 200,000 bankrupt cars, and it doesn't take much money to land a near-new car. Whether your family is celebrating Toyotathon or December to Remember, the winter break has been a great time to buy a new car, as dealers would lower prices to tempt bargain buyers.
In October, an article in the Wall Street Journal suggested that Carvana's experience was not necessarily a positive one. Once you've found some great cars in your area and narrowed them down to the one you want, it's time to figure out how you want to finance that car. In general, car dealerships are much better at selling cars than you are at buying, so as a buyer, you generally find yourself at a disadvantage. But in new car lots, “certified” means the car is in a certified pre-owned vehicle (CPO) program, which has become very popular and makes buying used cars much easier.
Most sales require a deposit after clicking the “buy” button and for the balance to be paid within a set period, allowing you time to inspect the vehicle. .