Make sure that by now, you have a definite idea of what car you want to buy and where to buy it. For instance, If you go to Edmunds.com
, you choose the Used Cars section, enter the Make of your choice, enter your Zip Code and the search will sort through more than 3 million cars nationwide. Enter the car model and year and dealer location (in miles) and the search will come up with several cars with different pricing. The price reflects the options available plus how many miles it's been driven. The more mileage, the lower the price generally.
Compare used cars prices between online classifieds and your local newspapers. Online classifieds usually have a listing of several hundreds thousands. You zero in on the location near you to find pricing that accurate reflects your area. The pricing of used cars is highly regionalized, and sometimes it's cheaper to buy a car in a distant area and have it shipped. Four-wheel drive trucks tend to retain more value in snowy Northern states, and gas-saving sedans are more expensive in urban areas and the South.
If you are planning to buy at a dealer near you, have a print out of your lowest priced desired car, with all the options, and mileage associated with it. The fact that you did your homework to compare used cars to arrive at the car of your choice will mean the difference between getting a fair price and an exorbitant one. That print out is where your bargaining starts. You should always bid below the market price and work the price up slightly.
Dealers usually pay $3000-$4000 less than market value for their cars so they can afford to charge less than market value. Typical dealer prices on a used car can be $2,000 over market value.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Obtain a credit report before you set foot in a dealership. Go to this site to obtain a free credit report. Now that you are armed with the current market price of the car, don't go to the dealer unprepared. If you know your credit report, you can't be bullied into higher rates.
Sadly, the free annual credit report doesn't give you your FICO score. For a few dollars, you can get it at Equifax
But if you don't have good credit, the table below shows how a credit score
below 690 and 620 dramatically increases your APR. If your rates are in those areas, it's possibly wiser to wait until you improve credit score.
Used Car Loan Avg. Rates
If you found a used car that you like from an individual seller, the fact that you compare used cars
at internet sites like Edmunds.com
will get yourself ready in front of a stubborn seller. Car owners tend to think their car is worth more than it is. With you printout from car-value websites that shows exactly what the vehicle is worth, you have a bargaining tool. Walk out if you find it hard to bargain with a seller. But most of the time, sellers are eager to just finish the deal and who knows, you might come up with a bargain from a seller who simply wants to get rid of his used car that just blocks the driveway. Your efforts to compare used cars from different sources might just come up with a payoff of cheap, reliable used cars.
Compare used cars that you can find to assure yourself that you got the best buy possible.