Buying a used car can be a little more stressful than buying a new one, and there’s often a lot of well-meaning but erroneous advice circulated around this transaction. With that in mind, Jalopnik is pointing out the top three errors used car buyers make:
- Don’t rely on the CarFax. While vehicle history reports do provide some good information, they can also offer a false sense of security. Sometimes accidents aren’t reported, and will be missing from the report. Often times the number of owners can be misrepresented. And if you’re looking at multiple vehicles, $40 per car can add up fast. You should just request the history from the dealer, and if they don’t supply it, that’s a red flag.
- Don’t trust the dealer’s inspection. The only sure bet is to get the vehicle independently inspected. If the dealer resists, there’s probably a not-so-good reason for that. Walk away.
- Don’t negotiate in person. Negotiation can be time consuming. While some suggest making a low-ball offer, that can sometimes cause the dealer to dig in their heels. Your best bet is to know the market for that vehicle, and if you can offer examples of similar cars with the same mileage at a lower price, that will give you leverage. And you can do this online or via email with the dealer’s internet salesperson.