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Used Car Buying Tips

How to buy a used car?

First of all, you should know how much you can spend for buying a used car or if taking a loan, what is the maximum monthly payment you can afford?

Include the cost of tax, title, registration and insurance for the car in the price of the car. These will be 10% of the price of the car. You should make sure the make and model of the car will fulfill all your daily needs like hauling kids, going off road, reliable, easy to park and capable of giving good mileage and desires like color, body style and luxury options. Consider also buying an extended warranty because it will save money in repairs and other services. Once you have restricted the price of the car, it is up to you to choose either a used car with lower mileage or an older one in good condition.

Check out VehicleHistory.gov Used Car Buying Tips Checklist

You search online or visit the manufacturer's website in order to find out the details of the car. From this research you yourself don't conclude the price of the car. Give that job to a reliable dealer who could pin point the value of the car.

A dealer might have refurbished a car in order to sell it and got a warranty to comply with the warranty conditions of the manufacturer. These will contribute to increase the value of the car.

Online buying. You can buy a used car online from the used car websites like ours Used Cars For Sale. You can search our website to find the price of a used car of the make, year and model and other specifics of your choice. You contact the seller for further follow up.

Buying from a private party. You must be too careful to be deceived and here the amount of risk is at its peak. Before proceeding to see the car, you should elicit all the particulars about the condition of the car and also check the car's history from CARFAX or AutoCheck. Online classifieds can greatly make the purchase hassle free since you have a first hand information about the specifics of the used car.

Certified Pre-owned (CPO) Cars. A car qualifies for CPO if it is not more than 5 years old and the odometer reading is less than 75,000 miles. The used car is refurbished and all the major systems are put through a thorough check and it is reconditioned so as to make the car in excellent condition. All these will add to the cost of the used car. A CPO car will be costlier than a non CPO. Still, it is worth the money. You can search for a CPO car on our website at Certified Pre-Owned For Sale.

Talking with the seller.

If you are dealing with a private party you should ask the reason for selling the car. You should ask him whether he has all the mechanical and maintenance records, smog certificate and a live registration. Also, find out from him whether it is okay for him to take the used car to your mechanic. If he gives all these right things, you along with a friend set out to see car in broad daylight in a location like mall, park or DMV. A private party means an individual selling his or her personal car. You should not fall a prey to some ads placed by professionals who buy old cars in poor shape and sell them for cheap without providing warranty, inspection and accountability of a reputable used car dealers.

History and Safety report

Vehicle title is a document that protects consumers against fraud. Likewise, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is equally important. VIN is unique for a particular vehicle and is located on the on the top of the vehicle, at the base of the windshield and some more places. Make sure that the VINs found in various places should tally and if not, give up the idea of buying that car. VIN will also enable to check the title and find out the car's history from CARFAX. Also, get the car inspected by a reliable mechanic. If the car's history doesn't match the version of the seller stop the deal.

Look out for the signs

Sign of possible body repair. A physical examination of the car is a must before the purchase. Place a small magnet gently along the various body parts like lower door, front fender, etc. Should there be any plastic filler, the magnet will not stay in place and the car had had an accident. Look at the panels and seams. They should be lined up correctly if there were no accident.

Signs of repainting. Open the doors, hood and trunk. Look for paint over spray. Also, are all the parts exactly the same color. From this, you can deduce if the car had been repainted.

Whether the car is local? Listen to the radio. If you hear a station out side the local you can infer that the car has been registered out side state

Sign of cracked block.Check the radiator liquid. If it is foamy or has oil droplets it implies a cracked block or cylinder head

Signs of flood. With your hand, feel around the top of the gas tank. You feel mud or leaves. Similarly, touch under the instrument panel and you feel mud. These two cases indicate that the car was likely involved in a flood .

Signs of driver abuse. Does the leather steering have excessive wear? If all the foot pedals show considerable wear and tear you can infer that the odometer reading has been manipulated to display less mileage.

If there is yes to one or more of the above , it is a good idea not to buy the car but to search for another one.

Do a test drive

It is mistake to test drive the car for only a few minutes. Before that check the following:

Cockpit Ergonomics. Whether the steering wheel is too high or too close to the instrument panel. Can the radio and heater control buttons be adjusted without looking off the road? Sit in all the seats find out whether they have enough head and leg -room. Do the seat belts and child-seat have proper anchors? Do the windows roll down completely?

Seat Comfort. Are you comfortable when you sit on the seat? Then you test drive.

Dashboard lights. Turn the key 'Accessory' and see whether all the dash warning lights illuminate. Make sure that 'check engine' and 'ABS' illuminate. Otherwise, the problem could be due either to burned-out bulb or a serious one like tampering. In both the cases the problem should be identified and fixed.

Engine noise. You start the engine and any tapping or ticking is due to valves(requiring adjustment) or a bad hydraulic lifter respectively. You should hear squeal on turning power steering from side to side. In the case of automatic transmission, the shifts should be crisp,firm and quick without grinding or groaning sound.

Steering vibration. While you drive the steering wheel should not vibrate or shake.

Brakes. When you apply brakes the car should continue in a straight in a line before it stops. If the car pulls to right or left, the problem could be due to bad brake calipers, pads, suspension or steering gear.

If you detect any or all the above problems stated above, ascertain from the mechanic the repair cost. Then you could walk away or negotiate the price based on the repair estimate. Visit the local DMV's website and find out the paper work involved in the transfer of title to you. If you are dealing with a private party write up a contract in which the price of the car and the term under which the vehicle is to be delivered.

Negotiating the price.

The advantages of buying a car from a private party are lower price, the repair records and knowing the previous owner. The car is sold "AS IS" and there is enough room for negotiation.

After test drive and the inspection of the car you decide to purchase the car from a dealership. Some dealerships are firm in their prices and quite often there is little or room negotiating the price. The following are the tips for an effective negotiation.

Every used car deal involves four items. The price of the car being purchased, the interest rate, the down payment and the monthly payment. Some buyers may want a lower monthly payment. But, you may be trapped into a lower monthly payment for extended duration resulting in more price than you what you originally thought. Extended warranty and other accessories like an upgraded sound system, premium wheels or new floor mats can be negotiated.

For some "naturally born" salesmen negotiating can be a simple pursuit between a buyer and a seller, but for those of us who freeze under pressure may find ourselves not being able to take advantage of the best deals, which we all deserve. When it comes to small purchases such as negotiation on the price of shoes at an outdoor swap meet, the price tag is not a hindrance, but larger purchases can be another story. Take buying used cars for instance.

We all know that the seller starts off with a higher than expected asking price, with the predetermined concept that any buyer will try to lower the price through a process of negotiation. Negotiating is easier said than done and the last thing one want is to be taken for a sucker when it comes to buying your next used car.

Here are a few very simple and straightforward tips that will help you have the confidence to know how to negotiate with the seller on the price of a used car:

1) Be Persistent: One of the key underlining skills to the art of negotiation is persistence. Be persistent as you the buyer negotiate between the seller's asking price and your all time high. This also means, of course, that you should have a high or maximum amount that you are willing to spend so as not to go above that determined figure and to also have a solid ground for negotiating.

2) Know Car's Personal Value: What we mean by know the car's personal value is to determine, prior to negotiating with the seller, what the car is worth to you. That way you have a solid argument for the price you believe you should pay for the car. Check KBB to find the current value for a car. A car's worth is different from its value, which changes with each buyer in other words know its value to you, the person in the market for a used car. A buyer must ask him or herself exactly how much the car means to them and what they are willing to pay for a particular car based on its age, make, model and condition.

3) Know Car's Actual Value: To me negotiating is a form of an argument, where you the buyer are arguing your reason for paying the price with the seller's reason for asking the price. It stands to reason therefore, the more facts you know about your argument the better your strategy will be and the more leverage you will have upon negotiations. To find the actual value of a car, research what the kelley blue book value is for the car at which you are looking, and then compare it with four to five other similar cars that are selling in the same area. If you learn that there are less expensive cars with comparable mileage and other specifics, then you have negotiating power to lower the price by considering your option to purchase another car from a competitor seller. Let the seller know that you are aware they are not the only one with a desirable vehicle for sale.

4) Be Aware of Defects: When I say defects I am referring to the quality of the used cars as it is now in comparison to how it was when it was brand new. Carefully examine the shape and condition of the used cars and be sure to use any "defect" you find in the car, such as dings, scratches, and previous accidents the car may have been involved. Additionally, consider the condition of the tires and whether or not they need to be replaced soon, along with rust anywhere in or around the car, etc. as a valid means to negotiate a lower price with the seller.

5) Upgrades are Valuable: Negotiate or rather politely argue that the "necessary" upgrades are missing. We all have an idea of what a car "needs" even if those needs are not critical in helping a car run, but do add to a buyer's level of desire to drive it. Essentially what I am saying, is that with a used car you have the ability or at least the opportunity to negotiate the price simple because the car "should" come equipped with certain features that you may find as important and possibly a deal breaker when buying a car. Necessary upgrades may vary slightly by person, but keep in mind the following expected extras, such as CD player or iPod connector as examples to lower the price if the vehicle doesn't have the basics that any car its same year would or should have.

6) Be Firm but Reasonable: I feel the need to remind potential buyers that when negotiating on anything the seller has every right to ask as much or as little as they wish. It is because of the seller's prerogative on the price that it helps if the buyer is reasonable with his or her negotiation, and realizes that the seller too has to make money on the sale. Generally speaking, a seller wants to make a sale. The asking price is therefore different than the sale price, which may be an undetermined cost and may be discussed during negotiations. This is true unless they are not selling the used cars for quick cash, but rather to make an actual profit, then the seller is more likely to be strict in their sale and have a set asking price that they will not budge. However, in most cases, if the seller knows they can make a sale by lowering their asking price, then they will be more likely to come down and meet you somewhere in the middle between your ultimate high and their absolute low to avoid risk losing the buyer all together.

7) Online Negotiations: The best place to start your negotiations is online from home or office. It offers you the privacy and no worries about face to face negotiations. Cars For Sale offers easy to use online used cars price negotiation tool to used cars shoppers. Start your used cars price negotiation online the smart way.

Get a good used car and have good driving.