You’ve decided to navigate the jungle of used cars for sale to find your dream car at a price you can afford. More than that, you love a great bargain. But the question remains, how do you go about determining what constitutes a fair price for that vehicle and how do you go about getting the price you want?
It can be a bit tricky. Every used car is going to be slightly different. Each will have had a unique life. Unlike a brand new car that’s just rolled off the line, every car you look at is going to have had a different amount of care, wear and tear, mileage, and options.
Begin by determining a fair base value that similar models are worth. To do this you can consult car-pricing guides. NADA guides, Clear Book, KBB and Black Book are all good references to do this. Check more than one and compare. Find the average.
Go online. Search the model you’re interested in to see what other similar models are being sold for in your area. It will also give you a good feel for market availability. If the area is saturated with many of the same models for sale it could give you some leverage.
Look at several different cars and test drives them. Inspect a few. The more experience you have with the year and model you’re looking for, the more intelligently you can navigate the bargaining process.
Whether you’re going to a used car dealership or buying from a private seller, get them to name the price first. Point out any flaws or problems you observe with the car. Bring your experience and knowledge to the table. If you can bargain confidently, chances are very good you’ll get the price you were looking for.
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