Buying a vehicle is always a big decision… one that can have huge implications for your personal finances and also for your day-to-day lifestyle. It’s naturally not a purchase you want to make lightly. Before you head to the dealership, then, we recommend doing some due diligence. Start by reviewing our checklist of car buying dos and don’ts.
The Dos and Don’ts of Purchasing a Used Car
DO use Google to your advantage. You should never walk blindly into a dealership without first doing plenty of online research. Google Search makes it easy for you to check out the technical specs of different makes and models, and to compile a list of maybe three to five cars you want to check out. For that matter, you can use Google to find reviews of particular dealerships, ensuring you pick one that’s known for honesty and for strong customer service.
DON’T go to the dealership without thinking about financing. Do you have a budget in mind? Have you checked on your credit score? And if you plan to finance, have you investigated different options at the local bank or credit union? You may end up financing at the dealership itself, which is totally fine! However, it’s important to weigh other options before you hit the showroom.
DO ask for a vehicle history report. You have every right to know if the car in question has been involved in previous accidents or had major body work done. Your sales rep should be more than happy to furnish you with a full report. Frankly, if the dealer seems resistant to giving you a report, that’s a red flag, and you may want to check elsewhere.
DON’T buy a vehicle without test driving it. There’s no good reason why a dealership should refuse you a test drive, and definitely no good reason why you should buy a car without knowing how it feels out on the road. As you test drive, also listen for any odd noises, which can sometimes point to problems with the car.
DO ask to negotiate each component of the deal separately. Trying to negotiate your purchase, your trade-in, and your financing all at once can get a little confusing. Make clear to your sales rep that you’d like to handle each of these transactions individually, not as a bundle.
DON’T forget that you can always walk away. As the buyer, your greatest strength is that you can always walk away from any car, any dealership, or any deal that leaves you feeling uncertain or unsatisfied. Take your time to find the right vehicle at the right price.
Connect with a Used Car Dealership in Orange County
Buying a used vehicle can be a lot of fun, but don’t forget to put a little work into it, too, ensuring you end up with the best outcome possible.
To be connected with a reputable dealership in Orange County, California, reach out to the Get My Auto team at your next convenience.