Car dealerships have a bit of a reputation for being dishonest and people are always a bit apprehensive about buying a new car because they’ve heard about all of the tricks that they use to get you to spend all of your money. While it’s true that they will use sales tactics to get you to buy a more expensive car that’s just business and as long as you stick to your guns, you can come out with the car that you want for the right price. The majority of car salespeople are honest and they’ll sell you the best car that you can get for your budget. Unfortunately, there are always going to be dishonest people that are trying to rip you off, so you have to be careful.
You’re spending a lot of money on a new car and you might decide to save some money by going for a used car instead of a brand new one. That’s a great way to save money, as long as you get a used car that is in good condition. But if you get a used car that breaks down every 5 minutes, you’re going to end up spending a lot of money on repairs and you’ll have to replace it very soon. Some used car dealers will try to fool you into buying a car in bad condition and once you’ve paid for it, there isn’t much that you can do about it. That’s why you need to know how to spot the signs beforehand and make sure that you’re getting a good car for your money. These are some of the best ways to avoid buying a bad used car.
Choose The Dealership Carefully
The first step is to choose the dealership that you’re going to buy the car from. If you choose a reliable dealership with a reputation for quality, it’s not likely that you’re going to have too many problems with the car. But if you end up buying from a dishonest dealer, you’re probably going to get a pile of junk for your money.
When you start looking at dealerships, it’s worth checking out some online reviews. If they’re in the habit of selling bad cars, there will be a lot of negative reviews and you’ll know that they should be avoided. But if the majority of the reviews are positive, you should be safe. If you can’t really find any reviews at all, that’s not a good sign. If they’re getting good feedback then they will want to publicize that. A lack of feedback is just as worrying as bad feedback. Asking friends and family for a recommendation is a good idea as well because you can be sure that they will give you good information.
Going to speak to a few car dealers is a good idea as well because you can get a general sense of what they’re like. If you tell them that you’re just browsing and you aren’t looking to buy, they’ll probably ask a bit about your price range and show you a few cars, etc. but if they’re overly pushy with you and they seem desperate to make a sale right away, that’s not really a good sign. You can also get a sense of the prices and that will give you a bit of an indication of the quality of the cars. If everything is priced incredibly low, there’s probably a reason for it and you’re not going to get a good quality car.
Research The Car
If you see a car that you’re interested in, you should take the time to do some research. Some cars are great to buy used because they’re reliable and they’re simple to repair. But other cars are not built very well and if they’re used, they probably don’t have much life left in them. If you buy a car that is prone to breaking down and is hard to repair, it’s going to cost you a lot of money in the future. When you’re researching the car, think about some of the other running costs like insurance and fuel efficiency as well. It’s not just the base price of the car you need to consider, it’s the overall cost of owning it.
Ask The Right Questions
When you first start looking at a car, you need to ask the right questions to get a sense of the condition of the car and see whether you can work out if the dealer is genuine or not. There are some crucial questions for car dealership owners that you must ask before you agree to buy a car. Ask about where the car was originally purchased from and how long the previous owner had it. Find out what the asking price is and what their return policy is if there are any major problems with it. You should also ask if any work has been done on the car like a new paint job because dealers sometimes respray a car to hide damage from an accident in the past.
You need to find out whether the car is being sold ‘as is’ or whether it comes with a warranty as well. In some cases, the car will come with a warranty and the dealer will agree to cover repairs up to a certain cost. But if the car is sold ‘as is,’ which means the dealer has no more responsibilities after you drive it off the lot, there is nothing that you can do if you have issues. As a general rule, buying a car ‘as is’ is usually a risk that isn’t worth taking, even if the price is great.
Finally, you need to ask about taking a test drive in the car. If they’re unwilling or unable to answer any of these key questions and they’re reluctant to give you a test drive, that’s never a good sign and you shouldn’t buy the car. If you feel that they’re trying to hide something, it’s best to find a different dealership.
Look At The Vehicle Maintenance History
The vehicle maintenance history is another important thing that you need to ask the dealer for. This will give you a breakdown of all of the work that has been done on the car in the past and it should give you a good idea of what condition it is in. If there have been a few simple issues in the past, that’s fine. Most cars have problems from time to time and it’s not really anything to worry about. However, if there are problems that keep occurring over and over, that is a cause for concern. It’s likely that you’ll be paying for regular repairs and the car will be a financial burden.
Boost Your Credit Rating
A bad credit rating will cause you a lot of problems when trying to finance a car, so you’ll be left with limited options. This puts you in a bad position and some car dealerships will try to take advantage of this and push you into buying a bad car because you don’t have many options. It is possible to get approved for a car loan with bad credit if you look in the right places, but it’s still best to improve your credit rating beforehand if you can. If you don’t need the new car right away, spend a bit of time paying down your debts and trying to boost your credit rating a bit. Having more financing options puts you in a stronger negotiating position and gives you more freedom to shop around and find a better quality car.
Checking the Vehicle
If you do all of those things, you can reduce your risk of buying a bad used car, but you still need to check the vehicle properly before buying it. Firstly, check the exterior for any dents and scratches. Then look for any mismatched colors or parts, because that is a sign that the bodywork has been repaired. You can also use a magnet to check for filler. If there are areas on the car that don’t attract the magnet, that’s a sign that there is filler under the paintwork and extensive work has been done to the body. These are all tell-tale signs of a car that has previously been in a bad accident. You should also check the tires for worn tread and make sure that they’re inflated properly.
Next, you need to check the interior of the car. If there is a lot of general wear and tear inside the car, that’s a sign that it is well used and the mileage is going to be high. That isn’t necessarily a big issue but you should be trying to find a car with low mileage if possible.
Finally, you need to check under the hood and see if there are any obvious problems. Look for signs of corrosion, melted tubs and wires, and any other general wear and tear. If you know-how, you should also check the fluid levels, to make sure that the car is being maintained properly.
As long as you follow all of these steps, you can get yourself a great used car for a reasonable price. But if you don’t take the time to do your research and find a reliable dealer, you’re likely to get stung.