If you have ever purchased a vehicle before, you know that there are some quite valid steps that you should follow to get a good car, at an affordable price, from a reputable dealer. The first is to locate the very best used car dealers near you. Ask friends for their recommendations, look online and drive by a few. Then:
- Create a budget. Include all your current expenditures, vehicle cost, insurance, fuel, maintenance fees, repair and financing.
- Determine your specific needs for a vehicle. Number of passengers, size, cargo area, 4-wheel drive, etc., are all valid considerations. Find vehicles that meet these criteria and complete some research on them. Narrow it down to 2-3 choices.
- Look at KBB (Kelley Blue Book) to see the value of each of your selected models and see what prices are at some of the dealers nearby.
- Note that vehicle prices at a dealership are usually a little higher than that from a private individual but you are likely paying extra for some service work that the dealer completed on the car prior to putting it on the lot.
- Ask for the vehicle history report on the car that interests you the most. Peruse it carefully.
- Inspect every possible part of the vehicle, inside, outside, in the trunk/bed, under the hood, underbody, etc. Having a mechanic of your choosing look over the car is quite beneficial, if you are able to manage this.
- Test drive in a neighborhood, in the city, on the interstate, in heavy traffic, in the rain, etc. to know exactly how the car handles and to see if you are comfortable in it and driving it.
- Negotiate the price (and/or financing) with the sales pro at the dealer.