Just because you're buying a used car, doesn't mean you should pay the sticker price. Many used car lots expect shoppers to haggle for a lower price and accordingly price cars higher than what they're worth. Of course, that's not the only tactic you can use to save money. Whether you go in knowing the value of a car or are willing to walk away, you can save money when buying a used car.
Know the Value of the Car
It takes literally seconds to look up the value of a used car. You can visit the Kelley Blue Book website and enter the specifics of the car to get the actual value. You'll need information on the mileage, year, condition, and any extras the car might have. Just plug in the information on the website and you'll be told what you can expect to pay for the car on a used car lot.
Pay In Cash, If Possible
One of the easiest things you can do to save money on a used car is to pay with cash. If the dealer knows that you're paying with cash, he knows you're serious about the purchase. It's also much harder for a dealer to turn down cold hard cash. Save up the money, if possible, before you go car shopping so you can save more money on the purchase price.
Bring Someone That Knows About Cars
If you don't know much about cars, you want to bring someone who does. He or she can look the car over and tell you if there are any problems you need to be aware of. If the car isn't coming with any type of warranty, this can save you a lot of money down the road. If you don't have someone that you can bring, ask if you can have your trusted mechanic look it over before purchase.
You want to get the price as low as you can get it. Again, knowing the value and being willing to pay cash can make a huge difference. Once you get the price as low as you think you can get it, then discuss your trade-in. You never want to bring up your trade-in until the very end. This can save you thousands. Even better, try to sell your car yourself rather than trade it in for the best price.
Be Prepared to Walk
Can't get the deal you want? Don't worry. There will always be other used cars to choose from. Also, many dealers won't let you walk. If your offer is reasonable, many dealers are going to change their minds if you're willing to walk away from the purchase. My dad and I saved several thousands off the price of a used car when we got up to walk away several times. He knew what he wanted to pay and was willing to walk away if it wasn't a good deal.
Buying a used car is a great way to save money. New cars lose their value as soon as you drive them off the lot. However, that doesn't mean you can't save money off the sticker price of a used car. Know the true value of the car you want and it's condition, pay with cash, haggle, and be willing to walk. That's all it takes to save money when buying a used car.
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