How to buy a used car?
When you’re looking to buy a used car, it is vital to choose a reliable dealership. You want to be sure that the dealer will be upfront and straightforward with you regarding the vehicle’s history and all contract terms.
Be sure also to purchase a vehicle history report.
Know Your Limits
Before going to used car dealerships in Ottawa, know your buying limit. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into a higher price than you can afford. Especially if you’re dealing with a professional, try to bargain from a position of strength, not weakness.
Ask if the dealer is selling certified pre-owned cars (CPO). These vehicles have been inspected and often come with warranty coverage, but not all dealers sell them.
Also, check the dealership’s website and look for a FAQ section. It’s a sign of a good dealership that makes the information you need readily available. It will save you time at the dealership and money over time. Ask people you trust if they have had a positive experience with the dealership.
Check the Vehicle’s History
A vehicle’s history is just as crucial as its specs. A vehicle history report gathers information from insurance companies, repair shops, and other sources and paints a picture of the car’s past. It can alert you to odometer fraud, reveal past flood, fire, or accident damage, and more.
The report can also shed light on previous owners and how they used the car. For example, a car previously leased or used for commercial purposes may have more wear than one driven only for personal use. Additionally, the report can let you know if the vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed. It is essential because a car with many open recalls can pose a safety risk to you and other drivers.
Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Getting pre-approved for an auto loan before you step foot in the dealership can strengthen your negotiating position. It can also prevent you from falling in love with a vehicle beyond your borrowing limit, especially when some lenders have restrictions on the vehicles they finance.
Using a car loan calculator to determine your maximum payment can help you avoid wasting time looking at cars that are outside your budget. It can also reveal any credit issues that need to be addressed, such as building your credit score or removing erroneous information from your credit report.
Dealerships often offer financing, but using a lender you trust, or your bank or credit union is cheaper. A pre-approval for a loan also helps deflect dealership add-ons like gap policies and warranties.
Know the Dealership’s Reputation
Car dealerships have a reputation for taking advantage of uninformed buyers. They may tack on extras or change the loan terms without the buyer’s consent. Choosing a trusted dealership means reading customer reviews and checking the dealership’s ratings online.
Ideally, you will choose a dealer that takes customer feedback seriously and responds to it quickly. Personalized responses make customers feel valued and demonstrate that the dealership cares about their shopping experience. While some dealers cringe at having negative reviews, most recognize that these reviews are a powerful marketing tool that helps build brand credibility and encourage new shoppers to visit. Car buyers also appreciate when a dealership takes the time to respond to their complaints, even if it’s only to apologize.
Do Your Research
Researching before you even step foot in a dealership will help you get the best deal on a used car. Check online pricing sources to see what a vehicle should cost. Find out the price of add-ons, such as gap insurance and VIN etching, which can sometimes run thousands of dollars.
When negotiating a price, be firm but polite. Don’t come across as demanding, or the dealer may not be willing to budge on price. Be sure you understand the numbers thrown around, and repeat them to the dealer. Also, watch for dealerships that include bogus fees in the final contract to make up for lost negotiation profit. It would be best if you never had to pay extra for things you didn’t ask for or need.