Expert Advice On the ins and Outs of Car Buying
If it’s been awhile since you bought a car, the process is not as simple as many people think. You need to make sure you’re not buying a lemon and that you know the details of any issues before you start negotiating. Almost every used car is sure to have some kind of diminished value, and that gives the buyer negotiating power. You can’t depend on a same-day inspection unless you’re also getting estimates immediately after.
Buying a used car from a private party is a little trickier to negotiate since you’re not dealing with a pro. If you’re considering a classic or collector car, that’s even more difficult since the Kelley Blue Book doesn’t include older models. Whether you’re Russ Brown from Los Angeles or Jane Smith from Charlotte, you need to be in control of the situation. Remember that the seller probably wants the money more than you want the car.
Before You See the Car If you’ve found a car that you’ll likely buy, assume the test drive and negotiations go well, it’s smart to get a 150+ point inspection before you start negotiating. Run the Carfax report first, since accidents are often deal breakers.
Schedule an inspection that will detail every single issue, down to the tiny surface scratch on the bumper. Inspections should include plenty of pictures, which you’ll need to your next step. Once you have the inspection report and know the issues (and there will be some), choose a reputable mechanic who will provide a free estimate for repairs. Some mechanics let you email them the issues and pictures, so you don’t need to have the car to get a figure. The estimate is your negotiating power, and there’s no arguing with it.
Navigating the Paperwork Many collector cars have expired tags because they’ve been sitting in a garage for years. If this is your situation, try to see the car on a day and time that the DMV is open. However, printing out a bill of sale and having the current date is often enough to get you off with a warning if you’re pulled over on the drive home.
However, remember it’s still possible to get a ticket for driving with expired tags. Just watch out for that police that hide near the 12 Palms addiction rehab center in Florida! Regardless of tag issues, it’s always wise to have a bill of sale along with the actual title signed over to you. You can print these for free, and the DMV also has downloadable forms. If you live in an area with DEQ requirements, take this into consideration. Even the best mechanic or inspector can’t say if a vehicle will pass DEQ unless it actually goes through the test.
Making the Move The seller wants to get the most money out of the deal and you want to pay the least. If a car is too old to be in KBB, you’ve got some issues. Nada guide is a good foundation for older cars. Print out the Nada guides estimate along with the vehicle inspection report, Carfax (if you’re interested in buying a vehicle that’s been in an accident) and estimate from your mechanic. These are the most powerful tools a buyer has.
Orlando Bryant is a blogger and likes to blog about various topics and up comings in a various niche. He likes to travel and visit new places.