In today’s economy, many people can’t afford a new car, the prices have risen astronomically! New cars that were affordable years ago have doubled in price. If you are ready to buy a used cars, here are some tips to help you during your purchase.

1. Look around.

This can be a hassle traveling from one dealer to another, but if you are looking for say a Dodge Ram 4X4, the prices from dealer to dealer could vary drastically. So spend a day looking. Take a friend you trust, don’t go it alone.

2. Negotiate!

Dealers make more money on used vehicles than they do new, that’s something most people don’t know, but it’s true. If a dealer has had a used vehicle in their inventory for quite some time, you can probably get a lower price. On the other hand, if they have a Lexus in their inventory that is costing them insurance and interest costs to leave it sit in their inventory, they may be willing to come down on that price too.

3. Don’t assume a big-city dealer is your best bet.

Most dealers, no matter big or small use the Kelly Blue Book to value their used vehicles when they take them in on trade. Most all dealers will mark them up an average of $2500, so assume that when you are going in. Also, smaller dealers are trying to make a niche in their area and offer more promotional items such as a free 3 month 3,000 warranty, or give-aways such as free lube-oil-filter changes for the first six months-they want you back as a customer and you won’t feel like just a number at a smaller dealership.

4. Financing-never, ever, do an in-house financing deal where you simply “buy-here, pay-here” deal.

The interest you will be paying is so high, you might fall behind on your payments and before you know it the old repo guy will be along to collect that vehicle and they will sell it to someone else. Check with your local bank or credit union and see what kind of interest rate they will give you. Ask the dealer for a vehicle purchase order to take to the bank with you. This will list the year, make, model, mileage and, price. Your bank or credit union will offer you a much lower interest rate than a dealer will. If a dealer is using an outside financing source, watch out for those too. They may tell you your interest rate is 7%, but their financing source is only charging them 5%, so they are pocketing the rest. Your bank or credit union won’t do this to you.

5. Ask to have the vehicle inspected by your local mechanic, not theirs.

If they say no, beware. If they say yes, and the report comes back good, you should feel pretty safe.

6. Ask about any free or other warranty that may come with the vehicle.

If it is a manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle or CPOV, then it probably has an extended warranty that will not cost you a penny.

If you use these tips when looking for that used vehicle, you will probably be purchasing a good quality used vehicle and feel more assured you’ve purchased a quality product and haven’t been ripped off.

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