Though used car shopping these days is easier than ever with the advent of the internet and car-history providing services such as CarFax, there are still some pitfalls a used-car shopper has got to watch out for.
The first trap a buyer must be aware of is the infamous lemon. To avoid lemons, you must access history reports from Experian or CarFax and also have a licensed mechanic inspect the vehicles your are interested in. Next, you must make sure you do not pay too much for whatever you end up buying. This is easy to do by going online and checking out prices on Yahoo! Autos, Kelly Blue Book, CarGurus or TrueCar.
The ol’ bait and switch has been around since Fred Flinstone bought his first foot-powered stone-mobile for a reason: it works. However, you can avoid it easily by doing two things: (1) calling the dealer and getting a confirmation that the specific car you are interested in is on the lot, and (2) then walking out of the dealership immediately if the promised car is not on the lot once you arrive. It also helps to have your finance package pre-approved before you hit the lot – this really boosts your bargaining power.
Finally, you want to make sure you are dealing with a trusted dealer. You can confirm this online as well by visiting sites such as CarGurus. In fact, according to CarGurus 70% of the dealers it has reviews for have high ratings.