Article
New!

What You Should Know Before Buying a Used Car

The pandemic has had some unexpected supply chain effects. While the great toilet paper shortage has been resolved, a silicon computer chip shortage has severely impacted the automobile industry. New cars require chips, and they are virtually nonexistent right now. As a result, the used car market is booming. Whether you're looking for a reliable used car for a teenager or one for yourself, NASCAR Car Wash suggests keeping these tips in mind to ensure you get the best deal.


Used Car Buying Tips

Look up pricing information on sites like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com. You'll have a better idea of what you should be paying if you know how much similar cars are selling for in your area. Allow for a slight price increase to account for the increased demand due to the chip shortage. If you find a car with an asking price well below Blue Book or Edmunds.com, be wary. It could have a salvage title, for example, or a VIN that doesn't match the vehicle.

Determine how you're going to pay for the car (cash, trade-in, or financing) before you enter the dealership. That way, you won't be swayed by a salesperson to purchase a more expensive car with "low monthly payments" when you already have the finances worked out and a firm budget.

Find out where to find the best deals, which may or may not be your local used car dealer. Check dealer websites and classified ads. Ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations. Remember, it's always good to shop around.

Always inspect a used car before you buy it. Check the inside and outside of the car, looking for dents and scratches on the body or interior wear on seat cushions. Open every door, check all of the lights, look in the trunk, and test all of the car's features. Take it for a test drive and pay attention to how it drives. Does it pull to one side? How are the brakes? Listen for any unusual noises or signs that the car has been in an accident.

Get a vehicle history report on the car before signing the contract. This will help you improve your chances of buying a reliable vehicle with fewer problems and a lower risk of fraud.

Keep your cool when negotiating and try not to let the excitement of finding a car you like get the best of you. Don't be pressured into buying anything you don't want.

Watch out for "the sale that is too good to be true." Some unscrupulous dealers will post ads with prices far below market value, just to lure you into their showroom. If it seems too good to be true, be extra careful and have a mechanic check the car before you buy.

Register your newly purchased car with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. You'll need the title, bill of sale, vehicle identification number, license plate number, and any required certifications such as a smog check.

Finally, add your car to your auto insurance policy. This is as easy as calling your insurance company and relaying the required information. You may also be able to do this online.

With the silicon chip shortage, it's become more difficult to find a new or used car. If you're looking for an affordable used car, NASCAR Car Wash hopes these tips help you get the best deal possible. Whether you go through your local dealer or check out classified ads and online resources like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.com, be sure to do your homework before making any decisions on which vehicle to buy.