Steps to Buying a Used Car
in search of a reliable and affordable used car, truck, or SUV? Major World is proud to be home to an extensive inventory of over 1,000 pre-owned vehicles and we’re dedicated to helping you find the best choice for your budget and needs. Learn about the steps to buying a used car so you know you’re getting the right vehicle for the right price, then read our blog on which questions to ask before you buy a new car!
Know your budget and stick to it: First up on our list is a fairly simple suggestion. Most people who are looking for a used vehicle are doing so because it is a much more affordable option than new models. This means that you likely have a budget you can afford, and so before you begin to look at any vehicle, you need to know how much you can comfortably spend on one. We suggest you be modest with your budget and save some money for any repairs or maintenance down the line. It’s also important to figure out if you want to pay by cash or opt for outside or in-house financing.
Choose the vehicle that’s right for you: Once you have a budget, now it’s time to start looking at available pre-owned vehicles that you can comfortably afford. But, what do you need the vehicle for? Will you need a truck for work purposes? Perhaps an SUV or minivan to haul the kids to and from school? Or, maybe you just need a simple sedan that can get you from your home to your job every day. Whatever the case may be, know what you need, and find a car that suits those needs.
Find the ownership costs of the vehicle: No matter what used car you get, and no matter what model year it’s from, it will have some wear and tear and could lead to costly maintenance in the future. So, it’s smart to take a look at resources like Kelley Blue Book to see how much a vehicle could cost you over the span of a handful of years. Factor this into your decision on which car best suits your needs and budget.
Learn the vehicle’s history: When buying a used vehicle, it’s always smart to know who was driving the car and how they were using it. Use resources like Carfax to try and get the history report of the vehicle you’ve had your eye on. A vehicle’s history can let you know whether or not it’s even worth buying in the first place.
Used car dealers: Play by the rules or pay the price
It requires used car dealers to post a Buyers Guide on cars they offer for sale. The Guide gives customers important warranty and other information to help them make an informed buying decision.
Buyers Guide must tell you:
whether the vehicle is being sold “as is” or with a warranty
what percentage of the repair costs a dealer will pay under the warranty
that spoken promises are difficult to enforce
to get all promises in writing
to keep the Buyers Guide for reference after the sale
the major mechanical and electrical systems on the car, including some of the major problems you should look out for
to ask to have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy
The back of the Buyers Guide must list the name and address of the dealership, and include the name and phone number of the contact at the dealership in case you have problems or complaints after the sale.
I’ve been looking for a specific used car for over 6 mo. and helped others looking for and bought a vehicle. Warranty sheet sere missing from sale papers, none were willing to put verbal conditions in writing and never a comment about common vehicle problems. One salesman stated they would fix problems after vehicle was “SOLD”! That vehicle is still for sale atfer 6 months.
Thanks for this information. I will remember this law of sales from this point forward. Used car salesmen does rip the consumer off daily and seconds. With their smooth sales pitch and trying ti make all sound like the car is a perfect vehicle for a consumer to purchased. Thanks again for this information. I need to know this from this day forward. I have been lied to by a car salesman.
I sold my car online and got cash on the spot — here’s what you need to do
Go online to find the value of your car
Considering my mileage (20,000 miles), a couple minor dents and year and make of my car, I had a rough estimate of what I could sell it for. Friends who had already gone through the experience of selling their cars told me I’d be lucky to get $10,000, so that’s the value I had in my head. Fortunately, that number was a lot less than what online dealerships offered when I went to get a more expert evaluation on the internet.
Let technology sell the car for you
It’s true that selling your car to a person rather than a dealer may get you more money since you’re setting the price. I wanted to get the best offer for my car, but I also wanted a convenient, hassle-free experience. Selling your car to an individual requires a lot of work, including researching the marketplace, creating ads, taking stellar photos, constant communication with potential buyers, price negotiations, scrubbing the car spotless and test-driving with strangers.
Consider selling your car to a buyer in a city where there’s more demand
You will get a higher cash offer from a buyer in a city with higher demand for used vehicles.
Expect to for your car to be scrutinized, which means you may get less than the price you were quoted
After setting up an appointment, I brought my car to Carvana and waited as the inspector scrutinized my car for about 20 minutes with her clipboard. When she returned, she pointed out things that brought down the value of my car. One of the dents was a lot bigger than I had reported in the initial online assessment, she said, and there were visible marks on the interior passenger seat, which I was aware of and did not report.
You must notify your local DMV
No one is going to buy a car from you without your paperwork. This includes proof of registration, tag, title, license plate number, driver’s license and auto loan company (if applicable). I had all my documents ready, and luckily I remembered to notify my local DMV that I sold my car. The DMV needs to know it’s no longer in your ownership, otherwise you could run into mishaps (i.e., being charged the registration fee for the vehicle). Depending on where you live, you might be able to transfer ownership online and avoid the actual office.
Things to Never Say to a Dealer
“I’m ready to buy now.”
This is an admission of weakness and an invitation for the dealer to throw out a price that’s slightly below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to see if you’ll take the bait. It shows that you’re too eager and willing to consider an offer, and it also gives salespeople the advantage by allowing them to talk you up as opposed to you talking them down. But by adding some very precise parameters, you’ll sound confident and strong from the start. There are two schools on negotiating. Going into the process, Gentile reminds consumers to be wary of the dealer cost.
Consumer Reports has something called wholesale price, which is the normal dealer invoice price minus all relevant rebates and incentives. Similarly, most longstanding price-information services advise buyers to research the dealer invoice, along with any relevant incentives, then make a lowball offer that’s maybe just a few hundred dollars above invoice. The dealer will follow your figure with a counteroffer that then allows you to go back and forth until there is a compromise.
“I can afford this much per month.”
Don’t allow the dealership to pull a credit report on you. Once the dealership knows your credit score it can affect negotiations for the car you’re interested in buying. It’s better to tell the salesperson that all you’re interested in is getting the best price for the vehicle. “Don’t tell the dealer what you’re willing to pay per month. This is the biggest mistake a shopper can make. Often the dealer will focus on a monthly payment scheme, insisting you are receiving a great deal, but at the end of the day you won’t really know what you paid, advises Gentile.
“Yes, I have a trade-in.”
Try not to tell salespeople you have a trade-in until a final purchase price is set. The ask the dealer how much they’ll give you have a trade-in. If you begin negotiations with a trade-in the dealer may try to distract you with the “great” deal they’re giving you on your trade-in while giving you a “poor” deal on the new vehicle you are buying. Its best to call the Credit Union and we’ll tell you a fair price for your trade-in before you even visit the dealership.
“I’m only buying the car with cash.”
Car dealers make a significant chunk of added profit when they sell you financing. If you don’t at least leave the dealer with the possibility that he or she might sell you financing, you simply won’t be getting the best deal. Bragg recommends saying something like “lets negotiate the price of the new vehicle first and then we can discuss financing”.
Understanding the Paperwork Involved in Buying a Car
Buying a car is one of the milestones of adulthood. It signifies freedom and independence. At the same time, though, the process can be overwhelming given the technical jargon that appears in the paperwork. It’s important to educate yourself on this matter because buying and paying for a car is serious business. You don’t want to sign documents without fully understanding what you’re getting yourself into. This is true whether you’re buying a brand new car or a used one.
Buying a car requires a number of documents to be fully legal. The first one you ought to have is the Bill of Sale. It is sometimes known as the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Basically, this is the document that solidifies the sale process. It includes information on the make and model of the car, it’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), the date of sale, and the purchase price. It also contains all the other sale details that the buyer and seller may have agreed upon.
Tips and Reminders
Buying a car can be tricky, especially since you’re trying to stretch your budget as much as possible and you want to ensure that the whole process is above board. Read on for a few reminders to ensure a smooth transition.
Read everything. It can be tempting to just leave things be and trust your seller, but that would be foolhardy. No matter how boring or seemingly difficult it gets, you have to read your documents before signing anything.
Check that the details written in the title and bill of sale match the car you’ve decided to buy. You don’t want dealers to pull a switcheroo on you, with you choosing a certain vehicle but getting a different one. Look at the Vehicle Identification Number to be sure.
Check the sale price in the documents and make sure that they reflect the amount discussed during negotiations. You have to be clear on the sale price. You might be shocked once you see all the additional charges, so get things clarified as thoroughly as you can.
Have a friend go through the document if you want reassurance. Find someone you can trust and who is knowledgeable on legal documents.
Items to Bring
Whether you’re buying new, used, or doing a trade-in, it’s important to come in with all your information ready. Don’t go into the shop without preparing, because it will only cause delays. In fact, if you can give the seller (or dealer) a call beforehand to clarify what personal documents are needed, it would be better. That way, you won’t end up resetting the sale because you forgot to bring the right ID.