How to find used cars at bargain prices
No matter what you plan to buy, the key to shopping for the best deal is to do your research first, especially for cars. With the amount of cash you’re going to shell out, you want to make sure you get what you want with no regrets. Buying new cars may be a little easier, but both new and used vehicles have their pitfalls.
The first thing you should do is get an idea of what kind of vehicle you want and be realistic. I know you want the Hummer, but is it within your means? Is it just you to please or do you have a family that buying this car will affect? You will definitely be happy with a little less car and money to do things; bottoming out the wallet is not worth the high-cost vehicle. You can get a decent car that is affordable and practical.
Once you get past that reality, try narrowing it down to a couple of different models to make your research easier and more focused. Once you’ve done this, you can start by keeping an eye on the local classifieds and seeing what kind of prices the models you’ve chosen have.
Quite often, you can find great deals in the local classifieds, and depending on the seller’s situation, you may be able to get a quality vehicle for well below retail price. Most of the time, people get a big surprise when they try to trade in their car and want to get more than what the dealer will give them. These people will usually try to sell privately to get a price a little closer to what they had in mind, which in many cases is still a bargain.
There are also some great sites that help you understand the true book value of a used car. I really like Edmunds, they not only have used car values but they really do a great job checking out cars. You can also check online at other great sites like Kelley Blue Book and NADA.com.
One of my favorite methods is to use eBay. With eBay, you can not only open a free account, but you can also go to eBay Motors and select the vehicles of your choice that are being auctioned and put them on a watch list. I’ve done this many times not only to buy a vehicle, but also to get a good idea of what I should get if I sell mine. Online auctions like this one can be a great way to find great deals. You can view the vehicles, which usually have photos, and shop from the comfort of your home. Try to find unreserved auctions, these types of auctions do not have a minimum price before they are sold and you may be able to buy a vehicle at a deep discount.
I know several people who once they realized how easy and cheap it is to buy cars on eBay, they made a very profitable career buying and selling cars. Public car auctions are held in many areas and you don’t have to be a dealer to attend. Many times these auctions have cars that have been repossessed from local banks, credit unions and government seized auto auctions and they have no desire to keep them. It’s not uncommon to find very expensive cars in excellent condition that command ridiculous prices if you spend a little time shopping around. You’ll find that some people will go crazy over new cars and expensive houses, but once their fortunes change and they can’t keep up the payments, their properties are seized and auctioned off. Many of these auctions are unreserved and can start at 95% off retail prices. Two really good online government auction sites are SeizeCars and ICarFinder.
Another key recommendation I have is to make use of a great system known as CarFax.com. The information they offer is crucial because they have information on all major repairs done on vehicles through information collected from insurance claims and repair facilities. Once you see a car you like, you can run it through CarFax and find out if you’re getting a lemon or a gem.
You can also check with local car rental companies that may be downsizing last year’s fleet. Be careful with this as there seems to be a 50% chance of getting it because others have been hanging around carelessly. Not having said that, the other half of the time you can get a good deal on a fairly new car with low mileage.
Some might suggest going to see some dealer auctions, but in my experience, in many cases vehicles end up going higher than they should. Dealers will pay the highest price because they know they can mark it up and sell someone to buy it.