Before you buy any used vehicle, know the Top Ten Used Car Buying Myths, Mistakes and Pitfalls. When you have reviewed the list, you can follow these 4 easy steps to buying a used vehicle with confidence.
4 Easy Steps To Buying A Used Vehicle
- Step 1: Get Pre-Approved For Your Loan
Contact the Baptist Credit Union Loan Department at 1-800-222-2328 and get pre-approved for a used car loan. Determining how much you want to spend on a used vehicle and having a pre-approved loan allows you to concentrate on finding a good vehicle and not worrying about the pitfalls of third party financing. This will also give you more confidence when initiating a discussion with auto salesmen. They will know you are clear about how much you qualify for and how much you are willing to spend. Click here to Apply Online for a BCU Auto Loan.
- Step 2: Do A Test Drive & Negotiate A Price
Once you found a vehicle be sure you follow these steps:
- Take it for a test drive – A test drive should be at least 10 minutes over different road conditions and speeds. Check cosmetic items and electrical components and accessories. This is your opportunity to eliminate a car from consideration.
- Don’t Rely on a CarFax report – A CarFax report (on any other history report) cannot tell you the CURRENT condition of the vehicle. Before you spend money on a Carfax report read the 7 problems that Carfax does not tell their customers.
- Negotiate a price – Call one of our loan officers and ask for the “Bluebook value” of the vehicle and go online to determine vehicle pricing. When you negotiate any price, always make it contingent upon a pre-purchase inspection. The true value of a used vehicle is the book value minus any needed repairs and diminished value from previous accidents.
- Make arrangements to have the vehicle professionally inspected. Do not let the salesperson or seller talk you out of your right to an unbiased professional inspection. A Dealer inspection is not the same as a pre-purchase inspection. Dealer inspections are usually performed by junior technicians and are more a “cosmetic” type inspection.
Note: Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles need to be inspected to determine if there are existing problems that are not covered under the certified vehicle’s warranty. There are no standards for certifying vehicles.
- Step 3: Get a Professional Pre-Purchase Inspection
A pre-purchase inspection is the most important step when purchasing the used vehicle. It is the buyer’s responsibility to determine the true condition of a used vehicle before purchase.
When you have your vehicle inspected, be aware that there is a huge difference between Automotive Technicians. A pre-purchase inspection is only as good as the experience and qualification of the Technician. A pre-purchase inspection requires that the Technician be certified on each of the 8 general automotive areas and be Body & Frame Specialists. Only an ASE Certified Master Technician is certified on every mechanical and electrical system. In addition a pre-purchase inspection must include a body & frame inspection by a Body & Frame Specialist.
The pre-purchase inspection should give you a list of any needed repairs and the cost to repair for negotiating.
- Step 4: Re-Negotiate the Price or Have the Dealer/Seller Fix Any Needed Repairs
Re-negotiate your original deal to include any problem uncovered during the inspection or have the dealer/seller fix any problem before you purchase. Once again, the true value of a used vehicle is its book value minus any existing problems and deduction for diminished value caused by a previous accidents.
Enjoy your new purchase!