Preparation is Key When Car Shopping

April 4, 2012

When buying a car at a dealership or from a private party you need to be prepared.

Not only do you need a basic understanding of car buying but you also need to be physically prepared.

Buying a car can be a grueling task both mentally and physically.

A few years back I once went to a dealer to check out a used car and had to leave early because I was exhausted from visiting other dealers that day. I called in sick that day to look for a used car. But I didn’t have a car in mind and just wandered aimlessly from dealer to dealer.

Many car dealerships are located next to each other so that buyers can easily browse from dealer to dealer. Don’t be one of these window shoppers. It will only wear you down and can force you to make rushed decisions.

Instead, target one or two cars and spend your time on each car. Go early in the morning when you have the most energy.

If you’re like me working Mondays through Fridays your best bet is to go on a Saturday morning. Make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty because inspecting a car takes a lot of work.

Don’t fall into the trap of buying a cheap car with lots of mechanical problems.

I see many cars advertised for 500 dollars. You’re better off skipping most of these cars unless you know how to fix cars.

I actually bought a 500 dollar car a few years back and got lucky. But there must be lots of people out there that ended up spending thousands on maintenance because they thought they were getting a good deal.

Remember that buying a car takes patience and energy. If you take your time and plan ahead you will increase your chances of buying a quality used car at an affordable price.

Image Source: Car Dealership Furniture

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce McIntire April 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

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Dilek May 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm

The actual whaeslole value placed on the car by the dealer (they will almost NEVER tell you this number) will be within pocket change regardless of what dealership you go to. What really matters is your negotiating skills vs the sales staff’s skills. (They will win most of the time unless you are an experienced negotiator in your own right.) The next factor will be how much “wiggle room” exists in the vehicle that you are buying. If you are looking at a new compact at a Chrysler dealer and a new mid-sized Ford there will be more bargaining room at the Ford house so it may appear that they are offering you more on your trade. They really are not, they’re just shifting the numbers around to make it appear that way.The best way to buy a new car is to sell your old one privately for cash. You’ll ALWAYS get more money on a private sale than a dealer will allow whaeslole on a trade. If you insist on trading in, say for convenience sake, bargain on the new vehicle as if you were a cash buyer who is NOT trading in a car. Once you have a firm deal signed by management, bring up your trade. Don’t let them mess with the selling price on the new car after that point. What they are offering you on your trade is something close to the true whaeslole value. That number should be very close no matter what dealership you are at.Watch out for one trick that I’ve seen a lot of lately. Dealers will show you the Black Book whaeslole price and claim that that’s all that it’s worth. What they are showing you however is the pricing for vehicle AUCTIONS. Auction pricing is always less than whaeslole because the buyers are not permitted to do much more than look over the cars and listen to the engine running. They can’t drive them or put them on a lift for a close evaluation. Insist that they use the NADA whaeslole dealer guide pricing which will always be higher. That’s fair because they have had a chance to carefully inspect your car, unlike when they buy at auction.

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