Once you know what you want, look up prospective shops, check out their websites, and learn about the autos and their details. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, leave options open and search multiple used car dealers in your area, or even those outside the area. Design a blueprint of what you want, and then go out and get it.
Request a title and a Carfax record, which will rule out all scamming hacks and save you a hassle at the DMV. Try to find out other facts about the vehicles' history, such as who its previous owners were and any maintenance performed by the dealership.
When you've found a car you think you want, ask the salesperson if you can take it to your personal mechanic, if you have one. Having a trusted mechanic is like having a lawyer or accountant; they're a reliable source of expert advice that can help you make an informed decision. Used car dealers should let you drive a possible purchase to your mechanic for a real-time inspection during your test drive (let your mechanic know beforehand). This is the only way to know if what you're buying is truly worth it.
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Consumers tend to be wary of car dealers. The common consensus is that salesmen set out to deplete pocketbooks and offer disadvantageous prices to their customers. This assumption is far from the truth, however. Dealers expect and welcome their customers' negotiation, and they look forward to striking deals that allow both sides to prosper. The negotiation ball is in the consumer's court. It's up to the consumer to know how to negotiate to find the best outcome possible. The following are three essential tactics to keep in mind when sealing the deal over a vehicle.
Car dealers make the bulk of their profit from commissions. This is an useful tidbit to consider when negotiating for your dream vehicle. It is not in the seller's best interest for you to walk away from the deal, so if you negotiate within reason, you will likely be able to drive that car off the lot with a price that works for you. Don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain. Shoot below your preferred price range to see how much of a discount you might be able to score. Quote an offer equal to 25 percent off of the asking price. The seller won't choose to withhold the sale on principle if your suggested price is lower than expected. His profession dictates that he should expect you to negotiate a lower price, and he is trained to counter your offers until you meet in the middle. Don't pay too much for what you want, but don't walk away from it either.
The first lesson you learned in kindergarten was to use your manners. This rule applies to buying cars as well. Stick to that priceless lesson when making your purchase, and you will develop a good rapport with each seller you encounter. Being courteous counts for a lot, even if you and your car dealer don't see eye to eye. Even the most ruthless salesman is more likely to relent on his asking price if your demeanor is down-to-earth and you treat him with respectful consideration. When you have to disagree, do so diplomatically. You can be a firm negotiator without pulling out the punches.