When you think about buying a used car, do you picture yourself kicking tires and taking test drives? While there's plenty you can tell about a used vehicle yourself, these aren't usually the best ways to ensure that you get the best deal possible. As a modern used vehicle buyer, you have better tools at your disposal to simplify the purchasing process for both yourself and your dealer.
Of course, old habits aren't always easy to change, and that's why this guide exists. Keep reading to discover three of the best practices you can follow for a smooth and enjoyable used car purchasing experience.
1. Do Your Homework
There's an endless amount of variation between makes and models of vehicles, and your options only grow when you add the model year as an additional variable. Stepping onto a used lot blind can be an excellent way to explore your options, but you should always do your homework before making any final decisions. Fortunately, the internet makes it easier than ever to research vehicle models.
Once you've settled on a shortlist, spend some time reading reviews and impressions from long-term owners. One of the many advantages of purchasing used is that you aren't buying a new and untested model, so it'll eventually pay off to take advantage of the experiences of others. You should also spend some time researching common problems and repairs.
2. Call Around
Nearly every dealership lists their vehicle inventory online, which means it's easier than ever to find the exact model you want. However, these listings may not always provide every detail, and mistakes can sometimes slip through the cracks. You can save time for yourself and the dealership staff by calling or emailing in advance to confirm that a vehicle is both on the lot and as described by the listing.
These calls can also be a great time to ask questions or discover other options. If the vehicle you want is no longer available, the salesperson may recommend other options on the lot. Additionally, many dealerships now require customers to schedule test drives, so calling ahead can save you some disappointment if you show up unannounced.
3. Consider Mobile Inspections
You don't have to purchase a used vehicle blind. Mobile inspection services will drive to a dealer's lot to perform cosmetic, functional, and mechanical inspections. In most cases, they'll provide you with a detailed report that includes pictures along with the inspector's evaluation. These relatively low-cost services can help you learn more about your potential purchase before you plunk down any cash.
Modern conveniences make it easier than ever to have peace of mind when purchasing a used car. By following these best practices, you can have an easier time finding a used vehicle for sale that works for you.