Searching for Used Cars

by : Rickie Smith

Locating used cars can be as simple as either visiting used car dealerships, browsing through car trading magazines or simply just getting on the world wide web. There are numerous options to get the very best buy on a used car. Not often do they involve just getting "lucky". All of the options listed here are going to take some effort on your part as a buyer. But rest assured your payoff will result in hundreds if not thousands of dollars and savings and therefore well worth your time. So where do you look for used cars and how can you be sure you are getting a fair and reasonable deal and not a lemon?

Let's talk price first. A dealer makes approximately $2,000 in profit on the average used car. In addition to that you can reasonably add another $1,000 to that to cover the cost of the dealership's sales commissions, advertising costs, rent and other items considered as their "overhead" expenses. With this being said...if you are looking for used cars that are considered "cheap", you would want to target a used vehicle that you could purchase at roughly $3,000 off the retail price.

Try to narrow your list of used cars down to about four. Next you will want to do a blue book check to research current car values for various yearly makes. Do a detailed budget for the amount you can afford and are willing to spend. You should also check out internet boards for additional information on used vehicle prices. When you hear the term "wholesale price", this is a car's trade-in value. For the average consumer, this would be a great price for a car and some might even say it is a cheap price. If the price you pay for a used vehicle is better than the trade-in value i would consider this to be an excellent buy as well...but again, it will take some work on your part to seal such a deal.

Never seriously shop for a used car without taking someone with you who knows about buying cars. Also, include in your budget an amount to cover an inspection of the car by a reputable and licensed mechanic, preferably one who is familiar with the make of car you want to purchase. In addition, you can reduce costs by selecting a mechanic that you will use in the future for regularly scheduled maintenance and who might consider giving give you a specially reduced priced for the inspection.

One of the best and often overlooked outlets for finding used cars that are priced below it's trade in value are public auctions. The nice thing about auctions is that the cars really are cheap, anyone can go and there is no license required to purchase vehicles there. These automobiles are usually bank repossessions or government and police seized cars. There are certainly some deals to be had and learning how to buy at an auction is not difficult. The only drawback to buying at auctions is that you may have to visit more than one time to find the exact car you are looking for.

Another viable option for buying used cars is through classified listings of cars sold by the owners. These sellers know they will not be able to sell their cars at the same prices as the dealers can because they do not have to provide the services used car dealerships do and they don't have the overhead costs or the markup.

Getting an inexpensive car or the absolute very best price is well within your control provided you do some research. Decide you are going to put in some extra effort because there are definitely some outstanding car savings available to you. Good luck in your search.