Many of us choose to buy used cars over new ones because we think they’re better value – and they are – but you still want to make sure that when you splash your hard-earned cash you’re truly getting the best deal around. Although it’s often the most expensive purchase most of us make – after a home – many of us don’t actually know the tips and tricks to ensure we’re in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating a good price. So with that in mind, here’s a guide to putting your best foot forward and help you get the very best deal on your next used car.
Do the Deal Before Getting In
When shopping for a used car many people hop straight in, but if you’re looking for the best price it’s wise to wait and negotiate before you get in the drivers’ seat. Realistically if you’re interested enough to be getting in the car to see how it feels, the salesman’s job is pretty much already done.
The car will smell nice, it’s clearly a model you like if you’re getting in, and much like buying a home you start to imagine yourself owning and enjoying it – therefore you start to form an emotional attachment and your negotiations will be affected. Instead, wait until you’ve had a really good look around the car, and perhaps even discussed some numbers with the salesman, before you get inside.
Get Some Distance
To make sure you can do a thorough examination of the car ask if it’s possible to see it away from the crowded forecourt – giving you the chance to check it out from a distance and up close on all sides. By standing further away you’ve got a better chance of seeing any denting on the panels – it can be really difficult to spot small dents at close proximity, but a bit of distance and you can check for the warped reflections that will show these up. When you’re checking it out, make sure the colours match on every panel – even a slight shade variation can mean the car has been worked on at some point in its life, and the dealership should have a record of it. Another telltale sign of past modification is chipping or scratching on the bolts under the bonnet that hold the panels in place. Remember, denting or previous modifications might not be a deal-breaker for you, but you might be able to knock a bit off the price if you spot them.