Buying a used car can be a smart investment—so long as you pursue it prudently.
Then again, there are a number of common used car buying mistakes that dog consumers—and can lead to you either picking the wrong vehicle or paying too much for it.
We’ll show you what we mean. In this post, we’re going to round up just a few of the most common used car buying errors; needless to say, these are all the things to avoid whenever possible!
7 Used Car Buying Errors
1. Not lining up your financing before you visit the dealership.
Before you go to buy your used car, it’s wise to know how you’re going to pay for it. Most dealerships will offer financing, and sometimes that financing ends up being advantageous—but more often, it’s on the pricey side. At least explore your options before you visit the dealership.
2. Failing to do your research.
These days, the used car shopping experience begins long before you actually enter the showroom. With some simple Google searches, you can locate some vehicles that meet all your criteria, and also get a general sense of how much you should ultimately end up paying. Make sure you use all the online resources at your disposal!
3. Not asking for a vehicle history.
At the dealership, you should always ask for a complete vehicle history, which will help you determine whether the car you’re looking at has had any problems in the past. It also confirms that you’re dealing with a reputable dealership. Be wary of any dealership that won’t furnish you with a vehicle history!
4. Skipping your chance to test drive.
Used car buyers should always seize the opportunity to test drive. This is the only way you have to know how the car handles, and to pay attention to any quirks in how it drives or how it sounds. Even if the car’s basically brand new, you should still test drive!
5. Forgetting to have an independent inspection.
You don’t have to have the vehicle appraised by an independent mechanic—but if you have concerns about it or just want some peace of mind, don’t hesitate to ask. Again, any dealership that won’t let you take the vehicle for a test drive is probably not a very reputable one.
6. Buying without taking an inventory of your needs.
It can be tempting to buy based on looks, or price—but really, the best way to select a used car is to start with an inventory of your needs. Think about how much storage you need. Think about how many seats. Think about how often you drive and what kind of fuel economy is necessary. These are the factors that will help you land on just the right vehicle for you.
7. Not selecting the right dealership.
Finally, remember that not all used car dealerships are created equal. Do some research to find one that’s well reviewed by other buyers. And if you need a recommendation for a good dealership in Orange County, reach out to Get My Auto today!