I’ve always bought my cars used. To be honest, I’ve bought pretty unreliable cars a couple times, but after 20 years of driving used vehicles, I’ve become quite good at figuring out how to get a good deal. Below are some of my tips for making sure you get a good deal.
1. Always check Kelley blue book prices
It used to be that you had to actually buy a blue book to get the prices for used cars. Today, you can get this information online for free, so there is no excuse not to use this information. You can find the price you should expect to pay for used cars you buy from both dealerships and private sellers. It’s important to be flexible when negotiating, but referring to Kelley blue book will protect you from being ripped off.
2. Buy a vehicle history report
The best place to get a vehicle history report is Carfax. Be aware, however, that sometimes information is left out of Carfax. It’s not perfect, but if a car had problems or an accident that was reported to the DMV, it will show up. The more information you have, the more knowledgeable you can be as a buyer. Therefore, I always order a Carfax report when I’m seriously thinking about buying a car.
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3. Avoid cars that have had accidents or are salvage
It’s tempting to buy these cars because they are usually heavily discounted. But in most cases, it’s smart to have a rule of thumb where you avoid such vehicles altogether. The money you save upfront might be gone with the first major problem you have with your car. So don’t focus so much on cost – instead focus on getting a high quality car.
As for tires, always make sure you keep them properly inflated. Rotate your tires every 6000 miles or so, and replace them when they get worn out. A good place to buy tires cheaply is Discount Tire online.