Read this before buying a used car

If you’re about to buy a used car, you may have done the research on exactly what kind of car you want. You probably know every detail, like the trim, color and price you want. That is super helpful stuff to know, otherwise how would you ever decide which car you like? Here is some other extremely important things to keep in mind when looking to buy a used car.

Used Car Flag Image Cash isn’t the best way to buy a car
Shoppers will call or email dealers letting them know they have cash and are ready to buy that day. Unless the car has been sitting on a dealer’s lot for months, cash doesn’t talk to dealers like financing. Financing a car makes the dealer more money, so even though cash grows their bank account the fastest, interest from financing means more profitability in the long-term. Learn more about what you need to finance a car.

Dealers drop prices when cars don’t sell
Makes sense, right? But not everyone knows dealers will drop a vehicles price at least three times on average before a car sells. The total price drop averages out to nearly $1,000! Patience can be a virtue and lucky for you, send out alerts when dealers drop prices. If you don’t have time to wait for the price to drop, learn how to negotiate the price of a car.

What’s available online might not actually be at the dealer
Sometimes a car that’s listed for sale online is not actually available. It could have already been sold or someone put a deposit down. Dealerships have to update their inventory with this information and sometimes they wait a day or two. That’s why before you drive to the dealer, call and confirm the car is available!

History reports don’t cover everything
A vehicle history report from Carfax or Autocheck is not a catch-all for potential issues with a vehicle. When buying a non-certified pre owned car, bring a mechanic. For a $100(ish) they can determine if a car you want to buy is safe, reliable and worth your money.

There are ALWAYS extra fees and taxes
The price of a car online doesn’t include the added dealer fees and/or the taxes your state charges. The price oftentimes doesn’t include these six types of dealer fees either. We’ve gotten plenty of emails from customers complaining about dealer document fees and this fee or that fee. Do a little research for dealer fees in your state to get an idea of how much a car is really going to cost. Luckily for you, we’ve already written about the most expensive and least expensive states to buy a car here.

Dealers don’t make money selling cars
This isn’t completely true, of course dealers make money selling cars, but lots of them make the real money on service plans. When buying a car, dealers will offer you a warranty or service plan. Those plans get you back to the dealer for oil changes or maintenance. Sometimes these warranties are totally worth it and sometimes they’re not. Make sure to read the fine print before signing.

Buy the right car at the right time of the year
You don’t want to buy a used car that’s going to break down on you. Moreover, you don’t want to buy a car at the wrong time of the year when it’s harder to negotiate down on price. Aside from the price drop alerts which we discussed above, you might want to read up on the most reliable car brands. After that, you should read more about the best and worst times of the year to buy a car.

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Written by Max Katsarelas