• 6 Alternatives to a Used Car Lot

    Lots of car shoppers don’t particularly enjoy going to their local used car lot. Dealer offers can mean high markups, high-pressure selling, and some other unpleasant things. Luckily, there’s more than one way to get your hands on a quality used vehicle, and today’s car buyers are turning to alternative methods of car hunting on the common market. If you’re one of those who prefers private vehicle sales, try some of these tactics to find what you are looking for.

    1. Public Auctions – Municipalities and police departments hold public vehicle auctions frequently in order to get rid of vehicles that were impounded, confiscated, repossessed, wrecked or otherwise compromised. This can be a bonanza for car shoppers who have access to a used car auction. Some of these events require a dealer’s license for bidding. That’s where the auction scenario gets tricky. Call the organizations hosting the auction and ask about the rules.
    2. Newspaper Used Car Classifieds – The old traditional newspaper ad can be a great way to buy a car. Narrow down your choices of make, model and condition at the dinner table, and go out looking for the ride you want. Motivated sellers will often make great deals including a “best offer” sale where you name your price.
    3. Car Show Events – Car shows can also be great places to look for a used car deal. While these specialty vehicles are on display to the public, you can browse just as you would at a dealer’s lot before making an offer the seller can’t refuse. This may only work with specialty cars and some sellers will demand higher prices, but for those who like a luxury ride, a car show can be a great place to get leads.
    4. Rental Car Sales – There’s also the option of tracking used vehicles back to their “source.” This means contacting rental car agencies and asking about what they do with heavily used vehicles, or talking to insurance companies about where they sell their damaged cars. Tracking used car sales can help you find venues that you never knew existed.
    5. Specialized Web Sites – Some new Internet sites offer a used car buying experience that provides a neat alternative to a dealer’s lot. On some of these specialized lot sites, shoppers can select cars online, then visit a physical lot to get a closer look. Representatives at these locations are not dealer’s reps in the traditional sense. Some of them are helping individual sellers to sell on consignment. These new venues offer an attractive alternative to bargaining with a local dealership.
    6. Networking and Word of Mouth – When it comes to getting around the option of visiting your local dealership, getting out in the community is another way to look for a used vehicle. Start with bulletin boards at your job or other local areas, and keep your eyes open for word-of-mouth private vehicle sales. This can lead to a satisfying transfer of a vehicle directly from one driver to the next.

    All of these are ways to circumvent the traditional used car shopping process. Some customers may prefer to go to a dealer’s lot, where vehicles are inspected and cleaned out prior to resale, but with the markup that often accompanies dealer offers, more customers are taking advantage of some of the above options to broaden their search for their next car or truck.