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5 Tips to Get a Fair Deal on a Used Car

Buying a new used car is exciting, but it can be stressful – especially if you don’t exactly know how the market works or the steps involved.

Are you looking for the best price but are not sure what action to take to ensure you don’t pay more for your used car than you should? Stop guessing! Here are some tips that can guide you to the used car of your dreams at the right price.

1. Know your credit picture

Before you start looking at cars, you should know your credit score. If you have any issues or outstanding balances, you can work to clear those up. A better credit score means a few things: you will qualify for more incentives, the down payment is usually less, while the loans available to you may be higher. It would also be smart to get pre-approved for your used car loan so that you are aware of what you are able to afford and the interest rate for which you qualify. For more information about your credit score please visit: http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/category/credit-advice/report-advice.

2. Now you can start the used car search!

Make a list of features that you would like your used car to include, and have a few color preferences in mind. Try not to get your heart set on specifics; you may have to adjust a few preferences because there is a possibility that the exact used car with all of your handpicked wants is not out there right now. Look online at dealerships who have a car you are interested in, and whom are located in the area you are willing to travel to. Make sure to look online at sites like: www.kbb.com, , www.cargurus.com, www.cars.com, and more to find an aggregate of used cars in your area!

3. Get the facts

AutoCheck®, which is a product of Experian, can make this process easier. An AutoCheck vehicle history report provides a clean-cut number that acts as a grade for your desired used car and AutoCheck includes a detailed outline of the car’s past, as well. This will help you really learn what the car has been through. Details like how many owners the car has had, whether it was in accidents or had odometer problems and more. If you are looking to do a trade-in, running a VHR on your own vehicle would help to support the value the dealer may be offering you for that trade-in. Bring this report to the dealership or seller and let them know you are knowledgeable about the car. This will allow both parties to have a transparent, and hopefully easier, negotiation process when it comes to what the car is actually worth.

Time to talk money

Dealers and other sellers will use different sources to price their used cars, such as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NADA guides. Use these as ballpark figures; these prices are just guides; they are not set in stone. Make a low opening offer that is still in the ballpark of what you are willing to pay, and if the seller knows you’ve done research on the car, they will trust that you aren’t just throwing out a random number. Stay calm and relaxed while negotiating so there is no friction making the conversation negative between you and the seller.

5. Add it all up!

In order to stay organized and in charge, write down the prices discussed for everything including additional fees, such as sales tax or dealer fees. Other things to keep in mind are things like extended warranty, interest, and maintenance costs. Find out if major maintenance services will be very expensive for the car you are interested in through the dealership or a trusted mechanic, whom you should visit prior to finalizing your used car purchase. This information will give you the best understanding of what the total cost of this car will be.

Happy buying!


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