I've bought and sold a lot of cars over the years, so I like to think I have some experience in the subject. The thing is; many people don't know what to look for when they buy a used auto.
The sad truth about the used car industry is that there are a lot of lemons on sale. As you can imagine, buying such a car can turn out to be a financial disaster for many folks! If you're going to buy a used auto soon, stop what you're doing!
Check out my handy guide to buying a used car so that you don't get ripped off. Don't worry; you can thank me by sharing a link to this post and make it go viral! Ready? Good. Let's begin!
Go with your gut instinct
The first thing you should do is listen to your inner voice. What is it telling you? If it thinks the car you are looking at is a dud, it's usually going to be right! As car buyers, we sometimes let our hearts rule our heads.
So, while an auto might look in pristine condition on a used car lot, underneath could be a different story. Learn to listen to your gut instinct when you're out looking at used cars.
Take a friend with you that knows about cars
Don't know the difference between a distributor and a downpipe? It's best to take a buddy with you that knows a thing or two about cars! They can keep an eye out for any potential mechanical and bodywork problems.
You might be wondering what to do if you don't know anyone that's into their autos. Well, you could always pay for an independent mechanical inspection. I recommend you only do that for the car you are most likely to buy for cost reasons.
Don't let the pressure get to you
Salespeople sometimes use pressure sales tactics to get you to buy. Examples might be things like "I've got three other people coming to see the car today." Some might even tell you the price will go up next week, believe it or not!
You are there to look at the car, not to make friends with the salesperson. If they annoy you too much, just leave and go elsewhere. You have no obligation to buy a car that you've just turned up to view.
Verify the car's history
Let's assume that you are almost ready to make an offer for the car you want. Before you negotiate on the deal, the first thing you need to do is check the vehicle is legitimate. Have the seller provide you with the car's paperwork, such as the title document and history.
You can then use services like Carfax to check everything is present and correct. If you get given excuses, walk away. You should never buy a car without a title document. And you shouldn't hand over any cash without verifying the car isn't stolen. You'll also need to check that it hasn't got outstanding finance on it.
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