Lately, economic data has been showing that the economy is growing. This, however, has not always translated into ordinary Americans having money in their pockets. Sometimes it may even seem harder for them to make ends meet today than it was two or three years ago.
This reality is the number one reason why more and more people today opt for second-hand cars. However, buying a car from a used car dealership is a different ball-game from that of purchasing a new one.
The biggest challenge is determining whether you can entirely rely on the car you purchase. Furthermore, the multitude of car dealerships operating in the U.S. makes choosing the right one difficult.
This article provides tips on how to identify a suitable vehicle before you make a purchase. You will also get some valuable insights into the used car industry in addition to gaining practical advice on getting the best deal.
Picking the Right Dealership
A keen look at the vehicles offered by different dealers reveals a practical business truth. Dealerships located within the same vicinity tend to stock similar models and/or brands. This is fantastic news for anyone hoping to get value for their money.
Your used car search begins with visits to all major dealerships in your locale. A Google search for ‘Bay City car dealers’ with help you get the physical addresses of almost all major car dealerships in the Bar City area. Identical queries of other cities in the U.S. should also provide you with similar results.
Visit each dealer and take note of the price of every vehicle that meets most, if not all, of your preferences. Focus on obtaining essential basic facts on the used vehicles at each dealership you visit. These facts include the brand and model, the offer price, its mileage, trade-in discounts, and other offer details. Four or five initial trips to used car dealerships should help you identify at least five suitable ones. Now focus on narrowing down your list to two or three choices. End the first stage by scheduling repeat visits to the car dealerships selling each car in your final list.
Carrying out a Physical Inspection
A repeat visit to a used car dealership grants you the opportunity to inspect a used car keenly. Confirming the actual condition of the vehicle is the prime goal of a physical inspection. Begin by checking whether the mileage indicated on signage is the same as that on the vehicle’s odometer. Ensure that the radio, air conditioning, audio system, and lights (headlights, breaks, etc.) are all in good working condition.
Proceed to look for signs of repairs on the exterior of the car. Patches with odd hues on the car’s paint job indicate underlying bodywork. It is advisable to make direct inquiries on irregular patches you encounter during your inspection. End the physical investigation by asking for the vehicle’s history.
Car History Report
A physical inspection is not adequate in determining the actual state of a second-hand car. The reason being, professional repair jobs are easy to miss. Furthermore, dealerships make considerable effort to ensure the used car appears ‘new.’ A vehicle’s history helps resolve all doubts relating to the actual state of a used car. Major dealerships will provide you with a car’s history report on request. However, it is advisable that you obtain an independently-prepared version of the report.
To generate the vehicle’s history report for a particular car, you require its Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. Providing the VIN to a vehicle history reporting agency generates an accurate record of the car’s accident history. The report also contains a list of past owners. It’s worth noting that a large proportion of used cars have a minimal of three previous owners. Vehicles previously owned by corporate bodies are your best bet for reliability. Avoid vehicles with extensive accident histories involving flooding and fires because they are more likely to develop serious issues later.
Some dealerships offer great deals for all vehicle categories. However, landing a fantastic deal on a car, truck, or SUV requires you to have a keen eye for detail.