by James Seale
Your teenage daughter has been saving up her minimum wage check for the past couple of years and has finally scrounged up enough money to buy a car on her own. As much as you would like to see her in a brand new vehicle, all she can afford without your help is a used car. You want to teach her the value of money, but cringe at the thought of a used car dealership and the hassles of buying a car from a salesman peddling worn goods. Is there any hope?
As Autoremarketing reports, sales of used vehicles went up to 4.1 million in the month of August. This number shows a 5.6 percent increase from the same month last year. Such increased sales represent a glimmer of hope for your otherwise, dismal used car search. More people are taking the used car plunge, and they are doing it because they have found the following four truths to be self-evident:
1. Start By Comparing Prices
Before the Internet, used car salesmen knew they had you pinned to a bulletin board. You might have felt queasy about the transaction, but without anywhere to check the stats, you were stuck submitting to the will of the dealer, or facing the rest of your days without a car to your name. This is definitely far from the case today. With sites such as Truecar, certified dealers like Phoenix Chevrolet, are at your fingertips, competing with each other for your business. You can take back the reigns of buying a car and get the best deal financially, while maintaining your sanity. TrueCar.com offers you pricing based on true market value, and generates fair and competitive options to choose from.
2. Do Your Research
Put away your charts and graphs, and trust the data of the used car sales experts. According to consumerreports.org, dealers to steer clear of are those selling jalopies such as Dodge Caravans, Chevrolet Uplanders and Volkswagen Touaregs. These cars have shown a less-than-average overall reliability for multiple years.
3. Be Wary of the Classifieds
Some tricky dealers will try to eliminate their inferior or damaged stock of vehicles by handing them over to a salesperson. This salesperson will then list the offending vehicle in the classifieds and make it appear a private party is responsible for the vehicle. If you must purchase a car this way, USA.gov suggests conducting a title history report, and to be suspicious if the title has recently been exchanged.
4. Demand a History of Damage Report
One of the wiliest scams around is title washing, which is when a car’s history of damage is kept from the new owner. As different states have varied requirements for titles, some do not require a history of damage. Thus, crooked dealers move a vehicle and its title through several different states to conceal its history of damage. USA.gov advises the best way to avoid this trap is to buy only from a reputable dealer, or to get a title guarantee in writing. Also, be sure to look into extended warranty programs on any purchase if possible. Carchex offers free auto warranty quotes on their website. Moral of the story is that you do not want to be stuck with a lemon.
Author: James Seale
Originally from Maryland, James retired from a career in the military last year. Now he spends his time blogging, restoring old cars and taking care of his three dogs.