A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be challenging, that is why we have created this guide to help you buy the right car.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Used Car

When it comes to buying a used car, there are a lot of factors to consider. Of course, you want to buy a reliable vehicle, but you also want to make sure that you are getting a good deal. Negotiating with dealers can be tricky, however, and takes practice and research to really be able to do well. Whether you’re looking for used cars in Caboolture or in Perth, the following steps will help you get a great deal on a used vehicle.

Choose the right car and dealership

When you want to buy a used car, it’s a good idea to have some inkling about what make or model you’re looking for before you show up on the lot. This allows you to do research on the vehicle’s reliability ahead of time, as well as research its going value through authorities like Kelley Blue Book. Autotrader is another great resource for learning more about a vehicle’s worth and can be an excellent resource for corroborating claims from Kelley Blue Book. Ultimately, having multiple touchpoints to reference is ideal, as it’s harder for a dealer to dispute a wide range of sources which backup your price point.

If you’re looking for reliability, you’ll also want to make sure that you read up on any recalls that the vehicle may have received in its lifetime, since you’ll likely be shopping for cars that are more than a few years old. One of the best strategies you can use when choosing a dealership is to find one that is affiliated with the brand you’re most interested in. Franchise dealers are far more likely to offer certified pre-owned vehicles, which can give you some peace of mind when shopping.


Before you make an offer on a used car, it’s vital that you get the vehicle inspected by a third party mechanic. Having an independent verification that the vehicle is in working order is crucial to being able to leave the lot with confidence and can also be helpful when it comes to negotiations. The only time you wouldn’t want to have an automobile inspected is if it’s still under warranty or if it’s being sold as a certified pre-owned vehicle. In both of these situations, getting another opinion would be redundant, since any issues with the car would still be covered by the dealer.

Understanding used car negotiation

Negotiation can be tricky, but the internet has improved used car negotiation in two major ways. The first way that used car sales have improved thanks to the internet is that buyers can go in with more information about what they should be paying. This helps them be able to spot a good deal and get a lower price when a dealer is asking for too much money. Another way the internet has helped used car purchases is by forcing dealers to make their prices more competitive from the get-go.

Keep both of these facts in mind when you go into a dealership. While you may have a limit to what you want to spend, dealers may already be pretty firm in their asking price. That being said, if you’ve researched and test-driven a car and are interested in purchasing it, tell the dealer. If you have cash on hand and the price is still too high for you, explain what you believe the car to be worth based on your research and let the dealer know what you would be willing to buy the car for. Even if the dealer says that your offer is too low, ask them to check with their manager. If they come back firm in their original price, be ready and willing to walk away. Leaving the dealership may make them change their mind, but even if it doesn’t, you know you won’t be getting a bad deal on your car.

There’s really no reason that you should buy a car new when so many vehicles depreciate in value considerably in the first few months of ownership. That being said, buying a used car can be daunting if you aren’t prepared. If you keep the above tips in mind, you’ll be able to get a great deal on a car.

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Casey Chesterfield
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