The allure of buying a used car can feel very enticing, especially when you consider the significant savings, variety of options, and the hope of getting a great deal. Even though there are many benefits to going to a used car dealer over buying a new one, even season car buyers can occasionally make mistakes that cost them in the long run.
To help you get the most value from your used car dealer experience and avoid common mistakes. We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes to avoid when venturing into the world of pre-owned vehicles.
1. Skipping the Vehicle History Check
One of the most essential and fundamental steps when purchasing from a used vehicle dealer is to get all of the vehicle’s records. By having a vehicle’s history record reveals more than just obvious red flags like accidents. Vehicle history reports can also show if the car has ever had a salvage or rebuilt title, hail damage, or any insurance claims that have been made on the vehicle.
2. Overlooking the Importance of a Test Drive
It can be easy to get rose-coloured glasses for an impressive car. No matter how pristine a vehicle appears, always take it on the road for a test drive. A test drive can give you valuable insight into how a vehicle handles on the road, if there are any unusual sounds, and allows you to ensure everything works as it’s expected to.
3. Neglecting Pre-Purchase Mechanical Inspection
It’s always an essential part of purchasing a used vehicle to have it inspected by a mechanic you trust. Even if you get a vehicle history report and take it on a test drive, getting a mechanical inspection ensures that everything is mechanically sound and can catch issues that may not be apparent. Even if you’re buying from a reputable used car dealer, spending a little extra on an independent inspection is worth the peace of mind.
4. Falling for the First Deal
It can be easy to get attached to a vehicle, especially when it feels like an ideal fit. However, showing a little restraint and doing your due diligence by checking around is still important. Rushing into a purchase without checking around to ensure you’re getting the best price at the best value can mean you end up paying more than you need to. You’ll always want to ensure you’re asking your used car dealer questions to help make informed decisions.
5. Not Considering Total Ownership Costs
It’s important to consider the external costs outside of the sticker. Many dealerships will dazzle potential buyers with what seems like a great deal and then add on extra fees. When you purchase a used car, you’ll want to add in other costs like insurance, taxes, registration, estimated repair or maintenance costs. What appears as a cheap purchase can quickly become a costly expense when you don’t consider all that comes with purchasing a vehicle.
6. Ignoring Financing Options
When it comes to financing, it’s best to look around to ensure you’re getting the best rate within the time frame you want. You don’t always have to go with the dealership’s recommendation. Sometimes, credit unions or personal banks offer more competitive financing options. It’s also good to decide beforehand which kind of financing is best for you. There are many kinds of financing options, like leasing or buying outright. Knowing which one works best for you is key.
7. Being Uninformed About the Car’s Value
One of the best ways to avoid being taken advantage of is by researching and being informed about your potential purchase. Researching factors like the market value of the vehicle, common problems, resale values, and other factors can give you an edge when discussing a fair price.
8. Skipping the Fine Print
Even though contracts are tedious to go through thoroughly, they are an important part of any significant purchase. You’ll want to ensure that all the terms and conditions you discuss with your used car dealer are included in the contract and that no surprise fees are hidden within it as well.
9. Falling for Sales Pressures
One stereotypical trope of salespeople is trying to force you into a deal. If your sales representative is claiming limited-time offers, other interested parties or any other form of pressurized tactics, it’s best to remember that it’s your money and your decision. It’s important to bear in mind that good car dealers care about finding you a vehicle that suits your needs, not just selling what inventory they have.
10. Not Having a Clear Budget
Always keep your budget in mind throughout the whole process. It’s essential to set a functional budget that accounts for a little negotiation room and stick to it. Purchasing a vehicle can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to make sure you don’t regret it later on by blowing your budget.
Find Your Next Ride at the Best Used Car Dealer in Indiana
Being aware of these common mistakes can help you avoid costly mistakes, surprise expenses, and, most of all, wasted time. Here at Edge Sport Auto, we care about finding you the right vehicle for your needs and budget. This is why we always provide vehicle history reports, maintenance records, offer extended warranties, and more. We understand how important purchasing a vehicle is. This is why our team is committed to providing honest, transparent, and trustworthy service every time.