Buying a Used Vehicle Great Tips

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Buying a Used Vehicle Great Tips

Post by alloutEVO on Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:44 am

The best advice you will ever get while purchasing a used vehicle, for that matter, from a dealer or individual:

Buying a used vehicle is a very serious matter. Think hard about what kind of vehicle you want (car, truck, SUV, ect.), what you want to do with the vehicle (race, show, work, school, ect.), how often you will drive it (daily or limited) and how much you can afford (do not forget to consider insurance).

Have a strategy: Now it’s time to make a list: Color, number of doors, body style (sedan, wagon, ect.)

Locate an independent vehicle “bumper to bumper” inspector or a “Subaru Dealership” and ask them for their price for an inspection and how long it will take. Tuck this info away in your brain. You will use this info later during your quest.

Search the internet for used/ new car dealers within your travel range that have vehicles that meet or come close to your wants and needs. Record the dealers’ info to your list.

Trade-in: do you have one? If so you have several options;

1) Trade it in to the dealer/ person you are buying your new car at
2) Sell it on your own
3) Sell it/ trade it in to one of the internet based car dealerships such as CARMAX, Drivers World, Cars.com and Carsdirect.com in order to name a few.

a. Companies such as them will buy your car from you, take your car in as a trade-in on a car that you want to purchase from the. They have tools that will help you determine how much your car will appraise for here; http://www.carmax.com/dyn/research/kbb/trade.aspx , http://www.driversworld.com/faq.aspx , http://www.cars.com/go/index.jsp , http://www.carsdirect.com/home?src=258&lnk=asu_buy+used+car

b. Companies such as these can take some stress away from you trying to sell your car yourself however you probably will not receive top dollar that you may by selling it yourself. But selling a car on your own normally will take an average of six weeks and still does not gaurantee you top dollar. You will typically get somewhere in between "black book"-what a dealer will give you and "blue book"- what you may get in a private sale. Obviously they are a business and they need to be able to make money and offering top dollar on every car they take in will not keep their shareholders happy. However, that applies to every car dealer.

c. Doing busines with companies such as these let you look at vehicles from your home without spending money on gas and all of those little inconveniences. They allow you to compare more vehicles that fit your exact criteria than any other method.


Down Payment: Do you have one? If so, how much?

Of course the more you can put down, trade-in + down payment= lower financed amount and possibly lower interest rate.

By this time you should have a rough estimate on how much cash you will need to purchase your vehicle. This is the time to ask your Bank or Credit Union for a used auto loan. Normally Credit Unions will offer a lower interest rate than a Bank. Getting a pre approved loan gives you a lot of power when approaching a dealership, use this as leverage. Financial institutions will normally give you a pre approval $ amount then once you find the car you provide them with the VIN, price ect. And they will enter it in their database and if it meets their criteria cut you a check. You do not have to tell the dealer you are getting outside financing.

Now for the bread and butter of buying your used (new to you) Subaru:

1) Go scope out the dealers on your list and look at the Subaru you are interested in. I always recommend that you do this in the evening after the dealer closes. This will eliminate any hard sell sales pitches and give you piece and quiet without distractions. Just do a quick walk around looking for exterior problems; exhaust, tires, paint, and overall body condition and interior if you can see it. If the car appears to be satisfactory to you mark it on the list. Write the VIN down as well and if you can see the odometer record the mileage. Repeat this step for all dealers/ vehicles on your list.

2) Your second step is to view the vehicle in all of it’s glory in the daylight. Gather all of your information up and head back out during business hours. Be prepared for “salesman intervention”. On his approach do not act desperate. Act normal ask questions concerning the vehicle(s) on your list. Ask him if you can check the vehicle out alone (once again getting rid of the outside distraction), tell him you will come and get him if you have questions or need further assistance. Inspect under the hood (hoses, rust/ corrosion, wiring, mods, fluid leaks/ levels, signs of fresh fluid deposits ect.) Inspect tire ware, is it uneven, are they new, if directional are they mounted correctly.

3) The test drive:
If at all possible test drive the vehicle alone (without salesman) if at all possible, however some dealerships will not allow this. The first thing to do is turn off the radio (at this point you know it works). A good salesman will always speak of the radio, tires, wheels and interior while you are driving the car. In most cases dealers know when there is a problem with a vehicle and will do this trying to get your attention. Thus making you miss all of the problems there may be. Warm the vehicle up, note the idle speed, eng temp, gauge lights all the fun stuff. During the test drive listen for weird noises, engine clatter, squeaking, rattling ect. Ensure you use the brakes when you stop, do they squeak, feel soft ect. Notice does the steering wheel vibrate, does the car drift to one side or the other, is the steering wheel straight while going straight. Hit a few bumps along the drive and listen for excessive noise from the suspension. Trust me, it is more affordable to replace a bad head unit/ stereo than an engine or transmission.

4) Professional Independent Inspection:
Once your test drive(s) are completed its time to go check out the remaining vehicles on your list (unless you are completely satisfied with this vehicle).
If you are satisfied with this vehicle ask the dealer/ individual if you can take the vehicle to an independent inspector for a complete inspection. If the dealer/ individual says “no” to this request simply walk away, they will either change their mind or let you go. If they say “yes” take $100-200 of your own money and take it to an independent inspector.

** NOTE**
A lot of dealer’s offer or quote a 1000 point inspection as a selling tool. This inspection is no good and usually bogus. Do not rely on this inspection unless you are buying your new auto from a dealer. The small things that they claim to inspect is only done to try and convince you to take the car "as is" or with a very limited warranty.

You also want to get a compression test done, this may be done at the same place you get it inspected.

5) CARFAX:
Though CARFAX is a good source of information, do not base your decision to purchase your auto based on CARFAX alone. CARFAX is only as honest as the previous owner, of they had an accident or the car was flooded ect. And they or the insurance company did not report it to CARFAX your search for information will not turn up anything. If repairs were paid out in cash the damage probably wont be reported.

** Do not compromise all of your hard work. If a dealer tries to put you in a car that was not on your list and/ or not what you are looking for, do not buy it or look/ test drive it. If you do, you are letting the salesman take control of the situation, once he does this he has got you. If you are not completely satisfied with your car it will come back and kick you later after the transaction is complete.

Good luck
-Jonathan C.

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Re: Buying a Used Vehicle Great Tips

Post by WANTED on Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:05 am

Very well put together. You write this or is this copied from somewhere?

Either way, Don needs to make this a sticky.

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