Tips to get the best deal on a used car

Whether you are choosing a new or used model, buying a car is the second-largest purchase most people make in their lives after investing in a home. While purchasing a used car, it is important to approach the process right to stand a chance of getting the best deal. Vehicle Report provide the history of a vehicle and a better understanding of the real market value. It also provides the total cost of ownership so that buyers may know exactly how much they should be paying.

Many people are put off by the idea of haggling, but you could save yourself considerable money on the purchase price of a used car if you spend just a little time honing your bartering technique. As with most things in life, the key lies in doing some research to put you in the best and most knowledgeable position.

The effect of depreciation

By far the biggest influence on the price of a car is its speed of depreciation. While all makes and models differ slightly from one another, you can pretty much knock 10% off the price paid for a vehicle the minute it rolls off the forecourt. This trend continues through the first year by which point the value will have dropped by a further 20%. Once a car’s age reaches the three-year mark, it will be worth just 60% of what it was when new.

While these drops in value may be far from ideal from an owner’s point of view, from a buyer’s perspective, they offer a tremendous opportunity to pick up a cheap deal at a fraction of the price of buying new. Moreover, cars between four and six years old are often still under the manufacturer’s warranty and, unless they have been particularly badly treated, should still give perfect service for a good number of additional years.

The drop in value as a car ages is a vital bargaining tool for buyers so you should research online for the typical market value of the model you are interested in buying before approaching a used car dealership or owner so you can haggle with authority.

Why internet research is so important

In days gone by, it was well-nigh impossible for car owners to ascertain an accurate price for similar vehicles across the country. However, these days there is a wealth of information (literally) at your fingertips. Having an idea of the prices being offered by private sellers and dealers for cars that have the same specs, mileage and age as the car you are interested in will put you in a tremendously powerful position when trying to haggle prices down.

The importance of in-person research

Armed with the information you have researched online it is time to crank things up a gear and visit the dealer or private seller face to face. At this point, you need to carefully inspect the car for the tell-tale signs of damage or touch-ups as well as take the car for a test drive. Also, be sure to check the car’s documentation and, if seeing a car with a private owner, ensure the address noted in the logbook matches the address where you are viewing it. It is quite common for scammers to arrange a viewing outside another person’s address to sell on less than legit vehicles.