Shopping for a used car can be an exciting and also intimidating experience, and all too often shoppers buy a car for way too much money than they should. Used car dealers are experts at negotiating a deal to their own advantage, so the buyer needs to be prepared and stick to a smart game plan in order to get the best deal possible.
The very first thing you should do is find out the value of your current vehicle, whether you plan to trade the car or sell it yourself. This is actually a very simple process that takes just a little homework to pin down. The first place to get used car values is the used car buying guides put out by Kelly Blue Book and the NADA Guide. You can get quotes from both sources very easily by visiting their website online too.
Most likely you will get a different figure for the worth of your car from each source, but the prices should be somewhat in the vicinity of each other. It’s a good idea to sort of average these two figures together then. Now, to get even more specific local information regarding your particular vehicle, you can buy a car shopper that is usually available at convenience stores and book stores, and look up your car in there. See what cars that have similar options and mileage to yours are being sold for in there on the average.
With all of this pricing information in mind, you should now have a clear picture of how much your car should reasonably be expected to be worth if you either sold it yourself or traded it in. Now is the time to decide which you wish to do. Selling the car outright will almost always work out better for you financially, but you also have to invest the time and effort needed to sell it. If that is just not what you wish to do, then focus on trading it in instead, but understand that you will get a lower price for your car as a trade-in.
You will always do best to have decided in advance which used car model you plan on buying before visiting any used car lots. This is so because you can then do the same research on those models that you did on your current car to get thoroughly familiar with what they are worth before beginning the buying process.
If you now start shopping you will be armed with facts and information that puts you at a distinct advantage when buying a used car. You know what your car is worth and you know how much you should be expected to reasonably pay for the car you want. If any dealer does not try to meet those figures, just walk away and go elsewhere. When it is clear that you are willing to leave their car lot and continue shopping, many dealers often get much more flexible with their deal arrangements because they realize that if you leave, the chances are that you won’t be coming back and they make nothing as a result. It also lets you see how firm they are about the deal they are offering you.