Are you excited about purchasing your first used car, yet intimidated by the process? Have you postponed making any decisions because you're worried that you don't have enough knowledge to make a correct choice? Here are some tips that should make your experience less stressful:
Shop for your money first:
Arrange financing before you start looking at used cars. You may find that the automotive dealer will try to get your business by offering rates that compete with your bank or credit union. Don't be afraid to let each dealer know that you're negotiating with more than one seller, and will base your purchase on finding the most favorable terms. Also, if you're planning on buying from a dealer, make sure you review your credit report before you start negotiating. Also, if you're planning on buying from a dealer, make sure you review your credit report before you start negotiating. Print out a copy, and check it closely for errors. Clear up any issues before you start negotiations so that the seller is able to offer you the terms that best match your credit ratings. Make sure to take a copy of your credit report with you each time you visit a car dealer so that you can show the seller that you know your standing with the credit bureaus.
Don't rush the deal:
You may feel like you've found the deal of the century, and you must act now or lose out on a great opportunity. However, instead of following your feelings, allow yourself all the time you need to make sure that you're making the best deal. Even if the car you selected is sold before you've made up your mind, you'll have avoided pressuring yourself into buying something you were ambivalent about.
Vehicle history reports don't tell everything:
Checking a car's past can show you the correct odometer reading, whether the car's ever been registered with a flood/junk/salvage title, or if was used as a fleet vehicle in the past. However, the report is only as reliable is the sources that supply the information. Repair shops, police reports, and state title agencies submit computerized records, but may not include important details. If a previous owner was in an accident, they may have chosen to repair the damage themselves and not report the collision. Also, the report may tell you the car was damaged, but it will not include information on how the repairs were done. Before you buy any used car, have the body inspected to see if the repairs were done properly, or if the exterior is being held together with automotive body filler putty.