In times gone by, buying a vehicle from the used car business was seen by many as akin to swimming with sharks. And for good reason. At one point in the not too distant past, it was a somewhat disreputable trade, full of people looking to make a quick buck.
Thankfully, recent years – and plenty of regulation – have seen the vast majority of the crooked types go out of business. The result for the consumer is a much more level playing field.
However, every car dealer in the world would be lying if they told you they didn’t maximize their profits. And most of them know exactly how much they can push things without overstepping the mark. Despite the industry improvements, you still need to be on your toes to get a good deal – and today, we’re going to tell you how to do it.
Research your dealer
Nowadays, it’s easy to take a look at a dealer’s reputation. Start with their website, and see how they present themselves. Are they professional? Are they upfront about things? Take a look at the Hilton Garage site as a good example. Straight away you can see they have been in business for many years, their prices are easy to see, and their policies easy to understand.
So, an excellent website is the first step. Next, try Googling the dealer’s name and look for reviews for them in your favourite search engine. The chances are that most businesses will have a few bad reviews – it’s the price of business.
However, if they have consistently bad reviews, it’s a big warning sign. Once you have a few dealers who are reputable, you can visit them all and start looking for a new used car.
First of all, it’s important to understand that car dealers know what they are talking about. So you have to approach any potential purchase with a little bit of swagger. Now, if it’s all for show, they will spot you a mile off – which won’t encourage them to cut you any deal.
You’ll need to do your homework. Find out about the car that you are looking at and check its price in your local auto-trading magazine. Take a look at how much mileage affects the average asking price, and also look at the damage, dinks, and scratches. They can all get you money off your used car – as long as you know what they are worth.
Finally, if you just aren’t sure, take someone with you that knows their bonnets from their boots. As long as you bring some knowledge to the table, you will get a better deal.
Car dealers have a range of little tricks that they play on customers. There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s only shopping psychology and precisely the same sort of thing that the supermarkets do. To make sure that you don’t get sucked in, try and keep your focus while you are talking to them.
There may be distractions or tempting offers put in front of you, but if you want the very best deal, make sure that you stay on target.
And there you have it – the three fundamental principles of buying from a used car dealer. Check out these car buying tips for more. Good luck with your new skills and enjoy your new wheels!