Buying a used vehicle is a big step in your life—and it can be exciting. For some, it can also be slightly stressful, simply because they’re anxious about making a mistake. Used car buying mistakes do happen, but they’re also completely avoidable—assuming you know what you’re looking out for!
Here are 10 of the most common used car buying mistakes—and tips for avoiding them.
The Top 10 Used Car Buying Mistakes
- Forgetting to do your research. Before you ever visit a used car dealership, you should spend some time online investigating different makes and models; arrive at the dealership with a list of three to five potential cars that you’d like.
- Buying from a private seller. There are many reasons why buying from a private seller can be dangerous. In short, if you want to get the best consumer protections, it’s important to purchase from a reputable dealership.
- Ignoring your dealership’s website. Do your research on the dealership, too—and pay special attention to any online-only coupons or discounts. You’d be surprised how many buyers forget these easy savings.
- Neglecting the test drive. Take a good, long test drive with the vehicle, and pay attention to any strange sounds or to any bumpiness in the ride. These can be red flags that there’s something wrong with the vehicle.
- Not asking for a vehicle history. A reputable dealer will be more than happy to furnish you with a complete vehicle history. Be highly skeptical of any dealership that refuses to do this.
- Not thinking about financing. Even before you visit the dealership, you should know how you’re going to pay for the car. Check options at local banks and credit unions. (Or better yet, pay in cash if possible.)
- Thinking an independent inspection is out of the question. If you have concerns about the car, you should always ask to take it for an independent inspection. This will cost you a few bucks, but the peace of mind can be totally worth it.
- Being intimidated by the negotiation process. You should always come ready to make an offer that’s somewhere between 10 and 15 percent less than the sales price, and to be honest and firm about what you’re willing to spend on the car. If you can’t reach a deal, just walk away. That’s your ultimate power play.
- Ignoring insurance needs. Remember that, once you purchase the vehicle, you’ll need to get it insured—so make sure you factor that into your budget.
- Settling for a car you’re not excited about. Used car dealerships have so much to offer! There’s a perfect car out there for you, at a price you can afford—so be patient and don’t give up too easily!
To connect with a reputable local dealership that can help you find that dream car, reach out to the experts at Get My Auto right away.