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How to Find the Best Deals on Used Cars

Buying used cars can be a great way to save money while getting the car you want. However, the process can be more complex than shopping for new vehicles.

When finding a good deal on a used vehicle, researching and being flexible can help you get the best price possible.

Know Your Limits

When it comes to used cars, knowing your limits is critical. You only want to spend what your budget allows or buy a better vehicle than you hoped. This is especially true if you’re planning on financing or paying cash.

You can help stay in line by researching before heading to a dealer or private seller. This means checking out comparable vehicles on the market in your area and determining what they typically sell for. You can also get estimates or quotes from other dealerships to help you determine where to start your offer.

If you plan on paying cash, letting the salesperson know in advance can also help. Dealers like Turner Kia often negotiate differently with cash buyers and may be more willing to cut you a deal. A cash purchase is also a great way to show that you’re serious about the sale and aren’t just window shopping.

Know Where to Look

Knowing where to look for your next ride is crucial if you’re a used-car buyer. Online shopping tools make it easy to search for cars and can help you compare prices and features across different sellers.

You can also use tools to find vehicles in demand in your area, which might give you a leg up when negotiating with salespeople. When negotiating with a seller, you can use estimates or quotes from respected sources to demonstrate a car’s value.

Know What You Want

When finding the best deals on used cars, knowing what you want is just as important as knowing where to look. Start by exploring the vehicles in your budget range and consider what features you can afford to sacrifice or live without.

You can also search online inventory at used car dealerships, private sellers, and even manufacturer-to-dealership CPO programs to compare cars, research vehicle values and appraisals, and find financing. Consider having any used car you plan to buy inspected by a mechanic before making any financial commitments.

While salespeople may try to keep you focused on a monthly payment, you should always consider the total cost of a vehicle—including fees and interest rates. If you can find a low price on a vehicle, trade-in value that exceeds expectations, and affordable financing terms, the monthly payment will fall into place naturally. That’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Be Flexible

It may seem counterintuitive, but private sellers often offer the best deals on used cars. Dealerships can inflate vehicle prices, especially during the pandemic, but private sellers can be more negotiable. Additionally, private sellers need to be trained in sales techniques like dealership professionals, which can make getting a great deal on a used car easier.

The current shortage of new vehicles has left many dealers with empty lots, so they are eager to sell off their old inventory. This means that you can leverage this fact to your advantage by getting a lot of offers from dealers before making a decision.

In addition to the vehicle price, you can negotiate on other costs like title and registration fees, advertising fees, delivery charges, and more. This can add to significant savings that allow you to buy a car you love without exceeding your budget. Be sure to include the total cost of ownership in your negotiations, including any expected maintenance and repair costs.


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