Most car shoppers begin their search online. Here they can learn about available vehicles as well as their prices.
Prices continue to increase, yet new cars remain affordable for many buyers despite high interest rates. Here are a few tips to help car shoppers navigate these tricky market conditions:.
Know What You Want
If you’re selling your vehicle privately to an individual buyer, ensure it is clean and in excellent condition for their inspection. A well-kept car shows buyers it has been treated well over time, which may increase its resale value over time. Ask the seller for a Vehicle History Report from one of several online vendors such as Carfax or AutoCheck.
Professional car washing can significantly enhance the curb appeal and prepare it for viewing by potential buyers. Take multiple photos from various angles; don’t forget to capture shots of its interior, dash and engine as well.
Before listing your car for sale, be aware of its true worth. Online valuation tools like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds can assist in this task, while local classified ads often list similar vehicles to yours that match in terms of year, trim and condition. When considering its sale value and condition honestly; both dealerships and private buyers will hesitate to pay top dollar.
Know What You Can Afford
Before shopping for a car, determine how much you can afford. That means balancing vehicle needs with your budget – which should include monthly loan/lease payments as well as costs such as fuel, insurance and maintenance. Most experts advise spending no more than 20 percent of your take-home pay on it.
If you are uncertain of your buying power, car-shopping websites can provide invaluable assistance by listing models by price and providing their estimated purchasing power estimates. Don’t forget to factor in additional expenses such as sales tax and dealer fees into their calculations!
Conventional wisdom suggests that car shoppers should shop towards the end of a month or year, when dealerships may be more open to negotiations, but with record high auto prices that might not always be the wisest advice based on your financial circumstances. Carvana makes car-buying simple with convenient vehicle pick-up in your driveway.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
No matter if you’re buying from a dealership or selling your own vehicle, preparation for negotiation can make all the difference in outcomes. Do your research, gather quotes from multiple dealers and be ready to walk away if necessary.
Be courteous but firm when negotiating, and begin by making an initial offer lower than what you want to pay; this shows the dealer that you know its true value and are serious about getting a fair price for it. Furthermore, this gives the salesperson an opportunity to pivot to other topics such as mechanical inspection or registration fees which might also need attention.
To save time, ask the seller if they will meet or beat prices of other local dealers. When meeting, meet in a well-lit parking lot or restaurant with security cameras – no hidden surprises such as tire protection plans, anti-theft devices or infotainment upgrades should be offered!
Know Your Rights
Law requires that any car involved in an accident must reflect this information on the title, but sometimes sellers try to conceal this info by “title washing” their titles. To safeguard against this happening, always obtain a free Vehicle History Report or VIN check from a trusted independent vendor.
Used car purchasers have the right to a full refund if the item does not match its description or is otherwise subpar, although private sellers may limit your ability to do this. Utilizing this law gives you some leverage in negotiations.
Utilize touchless online payment solutions such as Venmo or Zelle that keep your personal information safe, and make sure to have a copy of any written agreements before purchasing; this could come in handy in the case of noncompliance from sellers with promises they made to you — or money still owing on a car from prior owners.