Never buy a used car hoping that you can get the price down without knowing the real value of the vehicle. Understanding how to get a good deal on a used car is key when car shopping. Keep reading to uncover all the tips and tools you’ll need to get a good deal on a used car.
How To Get A Good Deal On A Used Car: Investigate The Car
Negotiating can be daunting, especially if you have no idea where to begin. To get the best deal on a used car you’ll want to use all the information you have on the vehicle to get the price down. Here’s all the research and work you’ll need to do to negotiate like a pro.
Take A Test Drive
Pay attention to how the car works when you take it for a test drive. Be sure that you listen for noises, grinding sounds, or rattles, and ask questions as they come up. If you hear a rattling in the car’s quarter panels, this could mean a car was in a wreck.
You’ll want to make sure the vehicle shifts smoothly. Check out the A/C and heater and make sure there are no grinding noises when the A/C goes off. This could mean that the compressor’s bearings are worn.
If the car has a voltage display, which can be found on the dashboard, make sure that when the AC is on, it reads 13.6 volts. Turn the radio on and off when driving, and make sure the speakers aren’t cracked. If there’s a CD player, make sure it works.
You’ll also want to make sure the car can handle different roads. Drive the vehicle on main streets, the highway, and side streets to make sure the car doesn’t lose alignment or bear left or right.
Make sure the brakes, seat belts, and power seats all work. Find out when the brake pads were replaced last.
Check all the bulbs, make sure none are missing or burned out. If the vehicle has retractable headlights, you’ll want to make sure they can pop up and turn on. You’ll want to make sure that the car’s reverse lights, brake lights, and directional lights work.
Check All The Fluids
You’ll want to take a look under the hood to see how clean the car’s engine is. Look at the transmission fluid and make sure it isn’t black.
You’ll also want to check out the air pressure in the tires and make sure there isn’t any uneven wear on the thread. You’ll also want to ask the seller when the tires were last replaced.
Check For Leaks In The Car
Before you buy a car, it’s worth it to spend the extra eight dollars to get an automatic high-pressure car wash. If you do this, you might discover something like the windshield leaks when wet.
At this point, you should know about the car’s past. You can learn this from a Vehicle History Report.
See If The Car Has Been Flooded
Each year, thousands of cars get flooded from hurricanes and other natural disasters. These cars end up all over the place, and might even end up on a used car lot. Here’s how you can make sure the car you’re interested in hasn’t been flooded.
First, do a title search to see if this car has been flagged as flooded. Then double-check the car hasn’t been flooded by looking for any signs of water lines. You might find these in either the inside of the car, wheel wells, radiator or engine, as well as the underside of the lift.
If the car has new upholstery or carpeting, look under it for a damp musty smell or mold. Also, keep an eye out for any rust by the door hinges or under the mats in the trunk.
Make sure the spare crowbar and tire aren’t rusted as well. Using a mirror, look under the seats to see if there’s any rust. Also, check the air intake filter for signs of debris, twigs, grass or paper.
Look At The Car In The Daylight
You’ll want to make sure that you see the car during the day. If you look at the car at night, you might not be able to see what’s wrong with the car. Make sure you bring a valid driver’s license so you can test drive the car.
Negotiate The Car’s Price
Now that you’ve done all the right research and inspection on the vehicle, you have all the tools to negotiate the price. Don’t focus on the asking price, instead offer what the car is worth based on the market values.
You’ll want to lower the price if the car has high mileage or any of the other red flags we pointed out above. The price of a car is usually based on the condition of the vehicle, which is either bad, fair or good. There’s a different price range for the car based on how it rates with its condition.
You can also get an idea of the market value by checking out eBay for auctions with similar cars. Here you should be able to see the actual selling price of the car.
You will also want to go sites that list used cars to get an idea of what you can realistically negotiate your car for. Keep in mind that manual cars tend to have a lower market value than automatic.
Also, the things you searched for when you inspected the car like bad tires, high mileage, faded paint, seat stains, rust, cracked dashboard, torn ceiling, and missing mats, can really lower the value of a car. You can use all of this to your advantage to work with the dealer to get the price down.
Get A Good Deal On A Used Car Today
Now that you know how to get a good deal on a used car, start your search today. Remember to do all the right research and daylight inspections so you’re ready to negotiate. For the best deal on a used car in Burien, Washington, contact us today!