One of the most common places to find used cars for sale is at a dealership. This is naturally where buyers go to buy new cars, but should you buy a used car from a dealership? Sometimes used car lots get a bad rap, but as long as you do your research, a used car lot is a great place to find your next car.
Before you start shopping for used cars for sale, it’s important to be prepared and do your homework. That homework starts with knowing what kind of car you want or need, how you plan to use it, and what your budget is. When planning your budget, make sure to allow for extra costs like insurance, gas, maintenance, and registration. Some vehicles cost more than others in these categories.
Once you have those things figured out, it’s time to do your homework on the used car lots in question. When you see a car that you like, make sure to ask for the out-the-door price and get it in writing. Use these quotes to confirm that the vehicle is on the lot and adheres to any advertised prices or sales. It’s also important to research dealerships before you visit and make sure that they’re reputable.
Always Get An Inspection
Your chosen dealership will generally offer a free vehicle history report to help give you peace of mind about the car you’re buying. While vehicle history reports are definitely important, they are not a substitute for a mechanical inspection by an independent and qualified mechanic that you trust. Even if the car has been certified or fully inspected by the dealer, you should still get your own inspection. Buying a used car is a big commitment and it’s a good idea to exhaust every effort to make sure your decision is sound.
Sometimes the dealer won’t let the car leave the lot for insurance purposes, but you can still usually get a mobile mechanic to come out and look at it. After the inspection, get a written report from the mechanic about any of the vehicle’s issues. You can use that to negotiate the price if necessary.
One perk of buying used cars for sale at a dealership is that you can often get financing directly from them. If you buy from a private party, then you’ll have to come up with a cash payment on your own. It’s always a good idea to shop around for financing and compare options from banks, finance companies, credit unions, and dealerships. When you look at financing offers, make sure you understand the following:
– The exact price that you’re paying
– Total sales price including down payment and monthly payments
– The finance charge for the loan
– How many payments you will need to make and the amount of each one
Buying a used car from a dealership has both pros and cons. The pros are mainly convenience, but the cons are mostly up to you. As long as you do your homework and know what you’re getting, buying from a dealership is a great option.