When purchasing a used car from a dealership rather than a private owner, there are a few things you need to know. Most importantly, you'll want to follow a checklist of items that you'll want to bring with you when looking for the perfect vehicle that will meet your needs.
Notebook and Writing Instrument
Should you come across a car that has everything you're looking for, you'll need a notebook and writing instrument to recorded the vehicle's information. Jot down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), as well as the year, make, and model of the car. Also list the asking price. When you return home, check the Kelley Blue Book value for the car in question to make sure the price is fair. Then run the VIN number to get an auto history report. This will let you know if the car has been in any accidents or suffered damage from a flood.
Just taking a used car for a test drive with the dealer is not enough to know whether the car is in good working order or not. Bring a flashlight so that you can peek under the hood and then underneath the car. If you don't know much about the mechanics of a car, bring someone who is knowledgeable in this field with you to get a quick inspection.
List of Checks You Want to Make
Your main checklist should have a specific list of things you want to examine when you come across a promising vehicle at a used car dealership. You may add tire tread, signs of rust, and the working condition of the heat and air conditioning systems to the list. Don't forget to include a check of the CD or DVD player, as well as whether the windows open and shut correctly.
Finally, if everything checks out, you'll want to have all the paperwork you need to secure the deal. For example, you'll need your license to test drive the car, and should you apply for financing, you'll need your social security number as well. Also, don't forget to bring insurance information because you won't be able to drive the car off the lot without calling up to have the vehicle insured first. If you're trading in a vehicle to help bring down the cost, you'll also need that car's title.
Taking the time to prepare a checklist before heading to the dealership is one of the best ways to help the transaction go smoothly. This way, you'll end up with a used car that will last for years to come.