5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Used Car

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Purchasing a used car, when done properly, can be a fantastic money-saving alternative to buying new. For less than half the price of an average new car, you can buy a three-year-old vehicle that has more features and runs just as well as a small, bare-bones new one. The estimated average price of a new car sold in the U.S. in 2015 was $33,560; however, the average cost of pre-owned cars was around $16,800.

Despite the number of affordable used cars on the market, some people simply can’t secure a good detail. There are five common mistakes buyers make when shopping at a pre-owned car dealership.

Common Mistakes Made By Buyers When Considering Pre-Owned Cars

  1. No research: Like any big decision in life, when you buy a car you need to do your research. The Internet provides us with plenty of information regarding reviews, car make and model details, pricing, rebates and incentives, etc. Find a car that fits your needs and your lifestyle, but also be sure you are staying within your financial means. If you are going to spend a large sum of money you should know what exactly you’re buying.
  2. Limiting options: Do not accept the first good deal you find. Check out other used car dealerships, check online, and weigh your options. Visit at least three dealerships before making your final decision. If the dealer is aware that you are keeping your options open, he is more likely to negotiate and offer a better price.
  3. Inadequate test drive: When buying a used car, a test drive is essential. Not only do you need to see for yourself how well the car runs, but you have to be sure that you feel comfortable driving the car if the make or model is unfamiliar to you.

    During your test drive you will probably be alone or with the dealer, and you will be covering the streets in the immediate vicinity, which may not be a part of your usual routine. The car may drive well in this environment, but that doesn’t tell you how the car will hold up in your everyday life. Think about how you will be using your car on a daily basis. Will you be driving primarily on the highway? Will you be parking in a garage, in a driveway, or on the street? How many passengers will you be transporting? All of these considerations will determine how well a car suits your driving habits.
  4. Forgetting about insurance: Make a call to your insurance agent. Find out if you will be paying more or less with this vehicle. This is especially important when purchasing pre-owned cars.
  5. Giving in to pressure: Car dealers can be pretty persuasive; that’s a skill you need to have in sales. The dealership might be offering a “one day only” sale, and you feel pressured to make a decision immediately before losing the deal. However, buying and driving a car off the lot within a few hours is not wise. Get the dealer’s name and business card, shop around, sleep on it, and if you still feel strongly about that one particular car, chances are you can still negotiate a great deal.

Previously used cars can range in price, features, age, and models. In fact, you will have more of a variety to choose from than if you were to buy a brand’s newest model. Equipped with the right information and the right questions, you can’t go wrong with a used car.

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