• Preparing Yourself to Deal with Used Car Dealers

    The term “used car dealers” often conjures the image of slick salesman trying to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers but often it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even though the vast majority of used car salesmen are good and honest people it is important to remember that these people are in sales and it is their job to get you to buy a vehicle. Purchasing a new vehicle is a big decision and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. Before you head off to the dealership you should have an idea of what to expect so that you can ensure you are treated fairly.

    Know Your Stuff

    Prior to heading to the dealership, it is a good idea to prepare as much information as possible. This includes knowing what type of vehicle you are looking for and what features you can and can’t do without. You should also know exactly what you can afford to spend in terms of a down payment and a monthly payment. In fact it is in your best interest to seek outside financing prior to arriving at the dealership. This allows you to shop around for the best terms and rate prior to arriving at the point of sale. Plus most dealerships are willing to negotiate a lower price for a cash sale, which is what it appears you are doing.

    Furthermore it is a good idea to know all the terms dealerships use in contracts and when selling cars so that you are not surprised at a later date. Many contractual terms can be confusing. You should also be careful in what information you give the salesman. If you must purchase a new car that very day and the salesman knows it you put yourself at a great disadvantage when negotiating.

    Once you find your dream car and decide it is time to make a purchase you still have to consider several things. First remember that the price you see is not the final price and you can, and should, negotiate to get a better one. Another factor to consider is to keep your trade in a secret until the price of the vehicle has been set. Many dealerships will try to determine what your trade-in is worth prior to the final negotiation and use that price against you.

    Remain Calm and Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions

    Car dealers are out to make money but that doesn’t mean you should have an attitude, get worked up or be mean. Always be polite and unafraid to leave the dealership if things are moving too fast or you become unhappy. There are literally thousands of vehicles to choose from and you never want to feel pressured or coerced into a purchase. Returning a vehicle is a difficult process and in many cases it is impossible.

    Remain calm and always remember that you have the upper hand. The dealership needs you more than you need them. Buyers always have the option to try the dealership across the road or down the block. Lastly it is important to remember that you are about to make a big decision and it is always a good idea to take your time and even sleep on the matter prior to signing anything. If you feel uncomfortable with any of these aspects of purchasing a new car bring a friend for moral support. Used car dealers should not be feared, they are not slimy salesmen looking to make a quick buck by selling you a lemon. That being said you should always protect yourself.

    Buying from used car dealers need not be stressful or difficult. Preparing yourself beforehand with the necessary facts and researching local used car prices prior to visiting a used car dealer will provide the confidence needed to make a wise choice.

    Vehicle History Report

    After finding a used car of interest request a vehicle history report. These reports will indicate whether the car was ever in a collision or flood and will also specify the number of previous owners. These reports are often times offered free from dealers.


    The sticker or asking price is the amount a used car dealer hopes to sell the car and can usually be negotiated. Researching the price of similar used cars for sale gives a potential buyer a good idea of pricing. Inspect the car for any condition problems and deduct them from the price. Negotiate the sale price of the car prior to mentioning any trade in.

    Used Car Sales Representatives

    Do not be afraid to ask questions. Many people feel intimidated by used car sales representatives; however, they are there to sell cars and provide useful information. If a used car salesman seems unwilling or unable to answer questions; consider going elsewhere.


    Many used car dealers are offering warranties and detailed inspections on their inventory. Ask what sort of warranty comes with the car and find out what items are covered. Look the car over thoroughly for any sort of excess wear and tear. Try all the switches and levers to make sure they function correctly.

    Test Drive

    Ask to take the car for a test drive. Drive it on city streets and the highway, letting it warm up, and listen for any unusual noises. Make sure the transmission shifts smoothly and that the brakes stop quickly without any noise, pulling, or grabbing. Do not hesitate to request inspection by a third-party mechanic and request the maintenance records.

    Buying from a used car dealer can save a substantial amount of money. Make certain to thoroughly inspect the car, get everything in writing, and carefully read the warranty and any fine print before buying anything.