Anyone that has gotten/ tried to get a used car will agree that it is a daunting task. Before buying a used car, you have to be properly prepared.
You can’t just go to any car dealer, pay whatever price he tells you, trust him 100%, and believe everything he says.
There is always some secrets in all trades or professions, and car dealing is not an exemption.
For that reason, here are 15 tips for buying a used car and how to apply them.
#1 The Internet is your power
One of the greatest fears of a car dealer is seeing a smartphone with you knowing the internet is within your reach, and they know the internet can literally provide answers to everything you need.
So make use of this power, go along with your smartphone and be ready to verify market value and financial terms when you are negotiating.
This gives you the upper hand and leaves the car dealer with no choice but to concur with whatever price you tell him, with proof in your hand.
#2 Be cautious of dealers who leaves to let you talk it over
In the middle of negotiating, when the dealer sees you are gaining the upper hand and you are not giving up anytime soon.
The dealer will then tell you they will be back later, so you can have space to talk it over with your company or make some calls.
This is a tactic that some dealers use to eavesdrop on your conversation, and get to know your bottom line.
If this happens simply whisper with your company, or send text messages if you don’t have one.
#3 You control the sale
If at any point during the negotiation you don’t feel good about the sale, or you have second thoughts about it, feel free to walk away.
Most times the car dealer will not be left with any choice than to give you a much lower offer when they see you have decided against it.
Remember you can always say NO and you have nothing to lose.
#4 The four square sheet is designed to pull strings on you
The four squared sheet is a tactic that most dealers use to mess with the customer’s head, and get them to change their mind about the deal.
The foursquare sheet makes it appear the customer is winning, and it’s presented with incoherent figures just to confuse the buyer.
So before the negotiation, tell the dealer not to bring out the four square sheet or you are leaving.
That will make them realize you know what you are doing, and also puts you in power.
#5 They try to get you overwhelmed and tired
This is yet another tactic most car dealers use. They will make you walk around the lot for a long time, talk about numbers for long, just to get you weary.
Then you become tired, and just back down and agree with them. When this happens, the best thing to do is to tell them you will come back the next/another day.
That way you would have gotten more time to think about it and you won’t end up making decisions you’d regret later.
#6 They try to distract you after you agreed with the price
After you have agreed to pay a certain price, they don’t want you to think about what you are doing so you don’t change your mind.
So they try to get you distracted with small talks, while the finance manager sets up the necessary papers.
#7 Read the paper work before signing
Ensure you read the paperwork thoroughly before signing it.
This helps you not to fall victim of some tricky dealers that change the figures on the paperwork to their preferred one, and you’d have no choice than to pay because you signed it already.
#8 Be wary of cars advertised at unbelievable prices
If the price of an advertised car is too good to be true, then be very careful!
The car might have faults you won’t know it has until you start using it.
In cases like this, go to the dealer with your mechanic, since he knows better.
#9 Buying at a large dealership is better
Just forget the saying that “small used car dealers in San Diego gives better deals.”
Unlike small dealers, large dealers move a lot of cars monthly. So they can afford to sell a few cars for less the invoice price.
#10 Don’t be misled by the invoice price
You shouldn’t agree to pay the invoice price the dealer tells you.
Although, the dealer might try to make you feel bad telling you, he is not gaining anything from the deal, which is probably a lie.
In fact, most dealers get a percentage from the manufacturer when they sell a car.
#11 The dealer will ask you for your down price
Never disclose your down price to the dealer when he asks you for it, until you know the final price of the car.
The dealer might try to use the price against you if you tell him beforehand.
#12 Don’t fall for the charm
Don’t agree to a price because you think the dealer is nice and you like him.
This might be just another tactic to get you to agree to his price.
#13 Trade-ins are not the best deal
A dealer might ask you if you want to trade in your old car, just decline and tell him/her you are not trading, even though it might not be true.
#14 Refuse to be pressurized
The dealer might try to pressurize you into getting the car immediately because an impending event might arise.
Just tell the dealer if he can’t sell the car to you when you come back for it, another dealer will.
#15 Don’t commit to a monthly payment
Another little trick the dealer might want to use on you is asking how much you are going to pay per month.
They will then try to sell you a more expensive car, so you just continue paying monthly.
Finally, never settle for a price you can’t afford and don’t give up negotiating if you think the price is too expensive.