4 Things that You Need to Know Before Shopping for a Used Car
October 29th, 2019 by Mitch Blyler and Mckinna Auto Sales
Mckinna Auto Sales
Shopping for a vehicle doesn’t have to be a headache. If you take the time to prepare before you start looking for used cars, you’ll know what to expect and make it easier on yourself in the long run. Deciding what options you need in a pre-owned vehicle is a must. We’ve discussed the top brands and available options in our previous blog posts for Mckinna Auto Sales. We’ll also assume that you’ve already read the reviews for any dealership you are planning to visit on Facebook and Google.
For now, let’s look at the steps to keep in mind during the buying process. These tips and hints should help you avoid some pitfalls and could help you save some money as well as keep you from losing your cool.
Step #1: Full Inspection
One of the most important steps you can take before deciding on a vehicle is the inspection process. First off, ask for that Carfax Report! If you’re at a dealership that isn’t willing to provide a Carfax Report, you should consider getting out of there ASAP!
Even with a Carfax Report, some damage isn’t reported to reliable sources. Take some time to do a full exterior walk around, paying special attention to any damage. You should do the same inside; look out for uneven upholstery materials on the seats and rust or oxidization on the metal hardware under the seats. Both could be an indication that the vehicle has seen water damage. While this is easy to clean up cosmetically, few vehicles can overcome the accompanying mechanical issues.
Once you get closer to making a purchase, you should consider sending the vehicle to a trusted mechanic. An experienced technician can provide you with some indicators of how the vehicle was maintained and might help you identify any existing mechanical problems as well as give you some advice on common future problems that you could typically face with the Make and Model you’ve chosen.
Step #2: Test Drive
It may seem obvious, but you aren’t just driving your prospective new ride to see how the radio sounds. Keep your eyes and ears open for any problem indicators. Do the tires make any noise? Is it a smooth ride with no unusual shaking? Be sure to do an on-ramp acceleration test and pay close attention for any loss of power or unusual activity.
A test drive can also give the driver a better understanding for what they’re looking for in a new vehicle. Do the seats support your back, are they comfortable? Does the car perform well? Does it have the power or stability you need? Are there any blind spots that might make it tougher to drive? All these questions can be answered with the right test drive. Just like trying on a new pair of shoes, your new ride should fit you perfectly.
Step #3: Understanding Values
Do your research! Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, look on car valuation sites like NADA.com and KBB.com. They gather market data from vehicles sold nearby and provide a value estimate for you. Keep in mind the options and condition on the vehicle you’ve chosen. Look at other vehicles in your market and other nearby markets to get an idea of what dealers are listing. If you’re looking at the only red convertible within 100 miles, expect to pay a bit more. Consider value added options like recent repairs or upgrades as well. If you fail to do your research, it could cost you.
Step #4: Only Fools Rush In
When you’ve narrowed down your search, consider looking for a comparable. Try another dealership or used car lot just to check out pricing and see how they operate. Do they explain all fees and charges adequately? Did they treat you with respect? Did they listen to your needs? Did they try to stuff you into a vehicle you never even expressed interest in? Choose your next dealership wisely, then use the knowledge you’ve gained here to negotiate the best deal for on a reliable used car. Questions? Give us a call here at Mckinna Auto Sales, located at 115 Mckinna Place in Brunswick, Ga.