3 Steps to Finding a Good Used Car at the Dealership

February 24th, 2016 by

Finding one of the many used car dealerships in Albany NY isn’t a difficult task, but finding a good used car might be. This isn’t because the dealerships are selling lemons or bad cars, you just might not know what to look for. Now and days, used dealerships almost always sell reliable vehicles. Anything built in the 2000s is made with modern materials, and meant to last. Even some cars from the late 90s are still holding up pretty well.

However, it’s still important that you use these 3 steps to find a good car. At the very least, this will tell you if something is, was, or will be wrong with the car.

Step 1: Get a Vehicle History Report

Before you do anything, it’s important to get a vehicle history report for the car you are looking at. Most used car dealerships have websites now, and they put there inventory online. This is a great way for you to get an in-depth look at the car before you even go to the dealership. A vehicle history report can be obtained from sources like AutoCheck and Carfax, and give you important information about the used car. It includes if it’s been in an accident, any major repair work done, or had the odometer rolled back.

If anything on the vehicle history report is negative, then you should avoid that car and look for another one that has a more positive history.

Step 2: Inspect It

After looking through the website and getting a vehicle history report, it’s time to go look at the car. Don’t get to excited, because even if the vehicle history report checks out, you still need to inspect it. If you don’t feel comfortable inspecting it yourself (or don’t know what to look for) you can do something called a pre-purchase inspection. This is probably the most ignored step in used car buying, and also one that many consumers don’t even know is an option

With a pre-purchase inspection, you are able to take the car for an inspection or have a mobile inspection performed at the dealership. This can save you thousands of dollars, and will ensure that you don’t get a used car that has serious issues.

While there is no law preventing the dealer from saying you can’t get it inspected, you should walk away if they say no. Because, you can’t help but wonder why they aren’t letting you get the car looked at; what are they trying to hide?

Step 3: Test-Drive the Car

The pre-purchase inspection is great for rooting out any major problems, but you still need to test drive the car. Make sure to simulate the type of driving you do on a daily basis. If you are on the highway a lot, make sure to get it up to at least 65 and see how it handles. If you are a city commuter, putt around the area and see how it does.

Even if there isn’t something wrong with it when you decide to drive it, you still need to be comfortable with the car. It may have looked good when sitting on the dealer’s lot, but you might not like the way it drives.

If it All Checks Out — Seal the Deal

If you walk yourself through all three of these steps, and the dealership seems honest, then it’s time to seal the deal. Make sure to negotiate a little bit, even if it doesn’t work it’s still worth a shot, and then drive your used car home in confidence.

These are 3 crucial steps when it comes to finding a good used car, and they are steps that can save you time, money, and future headaches. Since these steps are preventive measures to ensure that you get a reliable used car; not a junker with a new paint job.