Whether you are buying a used car from a dealership or directly from the owner; there are some tips you can use to negotiate so as to get the best deal. We can never tell how much dealers will come down on a used car but when you have some easy tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can be assured of getting the best deal. So let us take a look at some easy ways to negotiate car price when paying cash:
Table of Contents
1. Do your homework
Apart from used car dealerships, you can look for used cars online at Cars website or on Craigslist. These sites help you search for local car deals. You can also search in newspapers where owners list their cars for sale. When buying used cars you must use Kelly Blue Book– a website that gives latest values of used cars based on the model and year of manufacture. Armed with this knowledge you will be in a better position to negotiate the car’s value. For example, if a dealer is asking for $14000 but you know the car should not be more than $10000, you will be able to negotiate better with more conviction.
2. Pick a price range
Before buying a car, you need to know how much it is going to cost you to not only buy one but also maintain it on a monthly basis. Apart from its cost price, you need to account for monthly expenses, insurance payments and operational costs. If you plan on leasing it, you would need to consider financing contracts of 3-5 years. Calculate the cost of car’s ownership as luxury and high performance cars naturally have higher operating costs. You also must think of your daily commute along with the car’s mileage so that you can get an idea how much it will cost you for keeping the car operational.
3. Evaluate car models
Once you have a price range in mind; it is time to pick the car models. Many websites give information and consumer reports on various car brands. Two important sites in this area are Consumer Reports and Car Fax. The latter allows you to see if a vehicle’s title has been in flood or fire. Used car dealers provide this information free to you and you can use the reports to negotiate car price. You can then go to AAA Auto Buying Program and schedule a test drive.
4. Figure out financing
Decide whether you plan to get a loan for the car; for this you need to have a good credit score. The better your score, the better is the rate of monthly payouts for your car. Before you visit a car dealer, it is a good idea to talk to your bank or credit union.
5. Things to see before buying used car
Three important things to look for in a used car are mileage, year of manufacture and maintenance records. You can then use these factors to negotiate car price when paying cash to the dealer or owner. It is a good idea to visit Vehicle History which gives information who owned the used car and when as well as whether the person selling it actually owns it. Never buy used cars from people or dealers who do not have the legal title of the car. Ensure that the car you are interested in does not have any branded title terms like “junk”, “flood” , “salvage”, “rebuilt” or “total loss” etc.
6. Bring your mechanic to look at it
Never buy a car without having your own reliable mechanic look at it. Locate a good mechanic if needed-you can ask friends and neighbors. Use his report to negotiate a good deal with the car dealer.
7. Get a test drive and dealer’s report
Always test drive a used car before buying. You can also ask for a dealer’s report on the car’s condition in writing. Some dealers claim to do a 100 point inspection. If that is the case, make sure you get it in writing and have it duly dated and signed by the dealer.
8. Get your papers in order
Keep your driver’s license and insurance ready. You may want to look at several insurance companies to get the best rate in car insurance.
9. Watch out for add-ons
Many dealers try selling add-ons such as ‘gap insurance’ etc when selling used cars. Likewise, many try to push on service contracts. The latter rarely have any value and usually turn out expensive if purchased from a dealer. You might also want to consider purchasing warranty. Warranty gives the advantage that if your car turns out a lemon, you can either get a replacement or have it bought back.
Use these 9 tips to get the best deals on used cars.