When you decide to buy a used car from a dealer rather than from the seller directly, there are a number of things you have to keep in mind. Because a dealership offers a lot more options, higher prices, and maybe even some kind of warranty, you have to be prepared before you can take home that new car. 

Here are 10 tips that you can use when buying a second hand car from a dealer.

Do Your Research

Undoubtedly one of the most important steps is the research that goes into buying a used car. Before you can do anything else, you have to know what type of car you want, how long you want it for, and what will you use the car for. Since the used car market is quite large, you have to keep some alternative options ready in case the dealer doesn’t have the model you want. Get online and learn about the car you’re interested in so that you can discuss the model with the seller at the dealer – this lets him know that you know something about cars and cannot be fooled easily.

Investigate the Car

Once you have decided on a model, you have to find out everything you can about the make, model, and any other important information that could help you. You can find the car’s history report online or through the dealership website where you will get information such as the number of owners the car has had, whether it was involved in any accidents, or what the mileage of the car really is.

Check the Maintenance History

Another important step to learn about the previous owner and how the car was maintained. A maintenance history report will help you learn everything about the car and how it was being used before you can even think of taking ownership. This too can be found online or can be requested at the dealership.

Check the Reputation of the Dealership

In the same way, you study up about a new smartphone or TV, you need to research the dealership from where you intend on buying the car. Google is a great place to start as it lists most of the car dealers on there and everything from customer reviews to sales charts can be found online. With the increasing demand for pre-owned vehicles, finding second hand cars in Kolkata or Kochi will be easy.

Learn About Dealership Policies

Every dealership, in order to sell their cars faster, comes up with their own policies that target the customer. Depending on what you want from your car, you have to learn about these policies and choose the dealership that offers the best policies for you. Whether you want a money-back policy or a dealer’s warranty, you can find it in most dealerships.

Check for Certification

This is a little tricky because, for those buyers on a budget, certification doesn’t really make a big difference. But for those buyers who wish to use their cars for a longer period of time, certification plays a big part in the purchase. Certified dealerships not only offer complete inspections of the car, but they also carry out any repair work that needs to be done on the vehicle. The disadvantage here though is that these dealers sell their cars at a much higher price than regular dealers.

Make a Budget

As you might know, even a used car costs money and is probably one of the most important investments you will make. Therefore, you have to be prepared by setting a budget for your purchase – one which you cannot exceed. You can check for car valuation online and figure out exactly how much you need to keep aside every month for the payments. If you plan on using your car for about 3-5 years, you should invest a little more as it assures you a top-quality mode. But, if you’re after a model for about 2-3 years only, you can reduce your budget and save more in the process.

Testing the Car

Once everything is decided upon and you know where you’re going to get the car from, you need to visit the dealership and request a test drive. This is one of the most important parts of buying a used car because it can tell you everything you need to know about its performance. Check for any faults while driving the car – check the engine sounds, transmission, suspension, and other components of the car so that you don’t take home a lemon. It is advisable to take a professional mechanic along with you for the test drive as they are more capable of finding any faults in the vehicle.

Inspect the Car Physically

While you learn about the car online, there is nothing better than seeing it for yourself. Once you find the right dealership, head down to it and ask to see the car yourself. Check the car for any signs of damage and bring it to the seller’s attention immediately. Check for rust in the body, shoddy pain work, dented bumpers, or broken lights. On the inside, you should check the carpets, electrical fittings, the steering, the air conditioning, and more to make sure you are getting exactly what was advertised.

Always Negotiate

The only time you cannot negotiate when buying a second hand car is when you choose a certified dealership. Otherwise, you can bargain and negotiate on the price as you see fit. Sellers always increase the asking price because they know that buyers are always looking to negotiate. When talking to the seller about the price, it is important to stick to what you initially requested and go up just a bit, if it is a car that you really want – but, as mentioned earlier, never exceed your set budget.

With these 10 steps in hand, you can confidently approach any dealership and find the car you want without having to overspend or running the risk of getting a faulty car. So, next time you want to buy a used car from a dealership, use these steps and you will not regret it.