Buying a car is a big expense. and then, as soon as you drive it off of the lot, the car seems to depreciate a great deal. That is why many frugal people opt to buy a used car instead. The savings can be tremendous when compared to purchasing a new car, and often used cars are affordable enough to not require financing, a further savings.
Most people dread trying to negotiate at the dealership for a used car. They are afraid that they will wind up with an expensive clunker. Or, if they chose to buy a car from a private sale, they are left with no guarantees and no warranties of any kind. The later reason is why I prefer buying used cars from a reputable dealer. You can make up the difference in savings with some smart tips.
First, if you need financing, get it first. This way you are in a better position to haggle. If you have cash, that is even better. If you need a loan, the terms of the loan won’t affect the price you will pay for your car, but having it all squared away when you are looking to buy that car will give your more power with the price.
So, where can you find the best deals on used cars. Well, they are not to be found at the used car dealers (and not privately as mentioned above). Instead look to new car dealers. You can find the best bargains here, because they will have plenty of trade ins that are taking up space on their lot. They know that they don’t make much on these used cars, so they just want to get them sold quickly. The exception is the hyped up reconditioned and “certified” used cars. Because the dealers have put some extra work into these cars, they are generally not a bargain.