Getting the best deal of a used vehicle is a good way to get on the road without breaking the bank. It is not, however, as easy as some might think. If you want to guarantee a low price on a good used car or truck, you’ll want to follow the tips below.
Talk to a Mechanic
What constitutes a good deal? It can be hard to tell if you don’t know much about cars, so go to an expert. Talk to your mechanic and see what kind of used cars he or she tends to see the most often. If you can find a car that doesn’t need much expensive maintenance, you’ll walk away with a much better deal that lasts you for years to come.
Get in Early (Or Late)
This little trick will actually help you a great deal if you’re dealing with a private seller. Try to either respond very early or very late to a posting for a car sale. Getting in early allows you to get a better deal from those who want a fast sale while starting late will help you to get a better deal from those who just need to get rid of a car.
Know Your Discounts
Every dealer has specific discounts that run throughout the year. Check with your place of work or school to see if you’ll be able to get a discount from a specific dealer. This might include discounts for good students, employees of certain local companies, or even members of the armed forces.
Try Multiple Avenues
Never look at just one car at a time. Always look at multiple dealers and private sellers before you make a decision. Once you get numbers from multiple sellers, you can start to play them against one another. This is one situation in which a little bit of competitive research will go a very long way.
Know the Seller
If you want a good bargain, you’ll need to know more about the seller. Go online and research the reputations of various car dealerships in your area. If they’re known for pushing bad deals or for hiding discounts, you’ll know to either stay away or to be wary of what you’re told when looking for the best deal.
Cash is always king. If you can possibly walk in with cash, you’ll be able to negotiate from a position of strength. Many dealers will try to hide a bad deal behind financing, but cash will always speak for itself.
Shop for Comps
Go online and find out what your ideal vehicle is selling for in different areas. Know what the competitors will charge before you ever step foot on a lot. The more comps you have, the better a price you’ll be able to negotiate. One of the easiest ways to get a car salesperson to move on a price is to tell him or her that you’re going to get a better deal across town.
Learn to Negotiate
Basic negotiation tactics can take you a long way, especially in a private sale. Knowing how to get to the other party’s minimum acceptable number quickly and without fuss will always allow you to save money. Learn how to calmly and professionally talk about money before you look at a used vehicle.
Be Willing to Walk Away
The person with the most power when selling a car is the person who can leave. Don’t go shopping for a used car when you’re desparate; instead, look for a vehicle when you’ve got something you can drive away. No statement is more powerful in a negotiation than simply standing up and leaving the dealership.
Do Your Research
Finally, make sure you get educated about the vehicle you want. Don’t just know how much it should cost – know all the options it should come with, the cost of average maintenance, and what you realistically need to make that car worth your time. If you are willing to do the research, you’ll get a much better deal on your vehicle.
The tips above will save you money and, perhaps more importantly, will help you get a good car that will last you for years to come. You might have to do some homework to use these tips, but the end result is worth it. Knowing how to put yourself in the right position will allow you to get the used vehicle you need at a price you can afford.