Question: Should I buy this car?
This is a common question and is often asked when inexperienced buyers are considering a used car they have found for sale either from a dealer or individual seller.
We see this question frequently on automotive question-and-answer web sites on which we participate.
However, when the question is presented, it typically doesn’t contain enough information to allow a knowledgeable answer, which indicates that the asker doesn’t have sufficient experience to evaluate a car purchase for themselves.
The person asking the question might simply provide the make, model, and year of the vehicle. — and maybe the mileage.
They leave out important factors such as asking price, market value of the vehicle (from kbb.com and nadaguides.com), Carfax report information (accident and repair reports, number of owners, mileage stages), title status (clean, lien, salvage, rebuilt), or condition.
Continue reading Should I Buy This Car?
What car is ideal for teen drivers?
Ask a teenager what car they want and then ask their parents what car they prefer for their child. You can get some pretty different answers. However, you just might get some surprising agreements too.
We hear teens asking the same questions over and over again. “Which is the best car for me?”, “What car should I get?”, “What is the best car for a first-time buyer?”, and “Which car has the best reliability-safety-style-performance-gas mileage-cost?”
We will try to help answer those questions here in this article.
Continue reading Best Car for Teenagers? Explained
Cheap Cars – Where to Find and How to Buy
To some people, a good cheap car is one that costs less than $10,000.
To others, an inexpensive used car may be one that costs $2000 or less.
We’ll tell you how and where to find the car you need, at the price you want, regardless of your price objective or budget.
Cheap car tips
Usually, but not always, buying a cheap car means finding an older used car– a second hand car – possibly with high mileage. Unfortunately, the older a car, the greater the possibility for serious problems and expenses that were not anticipated. Exceptions can be found of course and, with a little effort, good “oldies” can be found at bargain prices.
Most used cars are sold “as is” and come with no warranties or guarantees. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly inspect any car you intend to buy, and not take the word of the seller about the car’s condition. Also get a Carfax® or AutoCheck® vehicle history report. If problems are found after the sale, you will not be able to return the car and get your money back, even if the seller deceived you.
Continue reading Where to Find Cheap Used Cars?
How to Find Used Car Prices and Negotiate Best Deals
Buyers and sellers of used cars often wonder how prices and values are determined. How are values of used cars set? Who sets values? Are the values reliable?
If you are a buyer, is the seller’s asking price being fair? Are you paying too much? Can you talk the seller down on his price? What price should you offer without being unreasonable? What if the seller doesn’t accept your price?
If you are a seller, how much should you ask for your car? How do you determine used car values? What is a fair price to ask? Should you set a higher asking price to allow room for negotiation?
These are all common questions. Let’s try to answer them here.
Used car prices are not an exact science
We all know that a brand new car’s value begins to depreciate as soon as it’s driven off the dealer’s lot, often as much as 20% of MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price – sticker price).
Continue reading Used Car Prices – Pricing and Negotiating
Best Places to Find Used Cars Online
One of the best — and easiest — places to find cars for sale is online — on web sites that specialize in listing pre-owned vehicles.
Online used car web sites fall into three categories: 1) Non-dealer sites that sell cars listed by private sellers, 2) sites that only sell dealer cars, or 3) those that sell cars listed by both.
Actually, many of the so-called non-dealer sites actually have dealer cars, thinly disguised as private-seller cars.
Web sites with Cars from Private-Party Individual Sellers
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of classified-ad web sites that advertise used cars for sale by individuals. Here are reviews of some of the most popular sites:
Continue reading Best Used Car Web Sites – Recommendations
How much car can I afford to buy?
Based on my monthly income, can I afford the car I want?
This is a common question but doesn’t have a set answer.
The answer depends on the following factors, assuming you will use an auto loan to pay for your vehicle:
- price of the vehicle, including tax and other costs
- cost of full-coverage insurance, as required by your lender
- your monthly income, after taxes
- your monthly expenses
- your credit score (affects the amount you can borrow)
- the amount of down payment you can afford
Some experts say that your car payments shouldn’t be more than 20% of your take-home pay. Others are more conservative and say 10%.
Continue reading Can I afford this car? What car can I afford?
Can I trade my car if I have bad credit?
It’s like the answer to a lot of other questions, it depends.
It depends on how bad your credit is, what dealer you want to use, where you’ll look for financing, and the status of the existing loan on your trade vehicle.
Let’s take a look at how it might work.
I need a new car, and have a car to trade, but my credit is not good. How does it work?
In this case, it’s good that you have a vehicle to trade because it can be used as a down payment on a new vehicle loan — assuming you are not “upside down” and have some equity to use as trade credit.
Continue reading Trading Car With Bad Credit – Explained
How to buy a car from a private party, not from a dealer
When you buy a used from a private party individual instead of a dealer, things are a little different in the buying process. It’s a good idea to take extra caution especially with regards to exchanging money and title.
Since an individual seller can’t arrange financing for you if you need a loan, as a dealer can, you’ll be responsible for getting your own financing at a bank or credit union, or at an online finance source.
What’s different when you buy a car from an individual?
Advantages of private car purchase from an individual
• Possibly better purchase price than dealer retail price
• Individual sellers tend to be more flexible on price and negotiating
• Individual sellers tend to be more agreeable to buyer inspections and test drives
• No sales tax (in some states) on private car sales
Continue reading Buying Used Car from an Individual – Explained
Tips for Negotiating a Used Car Purchase
Buying and negotiating a car deal is one of those things in life that most people don’t look forward to — because it’s often stressful and, at best, unpleasant.
Car buyers know that they should always negotiate and haggle for the best price but nobody (except car dealers) do it every day and it’s not a skill that we all possess or get to practice very often.
Besides, the rules change from time to time.
First, let’s understand what we’re up against when buying a used car, either from a dealer or from an individual seller.
Continue reading How to Negotiate a Car Deal – Explained
This is a question that frequently comes up for those who are thinking of buying a new car.
Since this web site is about used cars, let’s get one answer out of the way immediately;
Leasing only applies to brand new cars, not used cars. There are some exceptions in that there are independent dealers in some large cities who lease used luxury cars.
But, hold on, that’s not the final answer.
Used car leasing
There is one way to lease a used car that most people are not aware of. It’s called by various names: lease takeover, lease assumption, lease trading, lease swapping, and taking over a lease.
Here’s how it works.
Continue reading Should I lease or buy a car?