When looking at buying a car, finding out its real market value is possibly the most important step – this should be done before you start paying too much attention to what the seller wants for it. Obviously, this step is more important when you are looking to buy a used car rather than a new one.
Determining a Car’s Value
To determine its value, you will need to look at the price of similar cars – try to compare the cars age, where it was made or assembled, its mileage, the condition of equipment and overall state. These aspects will help you to arrive at a somewhat accurate value of the car you wish to buy.
It is important that you find several sources for the price of the make/model of the car you wish to buy. This will give you some idea on how much you should spend on the car.
For the absolute lowest price that a car is worth, you could take a look at one of the many car buying companies (in the worst case scenario, you could always sell it to them).
Negotiating the Best Price
To give you some leverage when negotiating the price, you should ask a lot of questions and focus the conversation on any bad points. The questions ought to focus on mileage, features and options the car has, any history with accidents or collisions, the record of any past drivers, and availability of service records. They will help you to determine how trustworthy the seller is and if you can conclude the transaction with him.
Researching the options which are open to you in terms of financing is an important step which should be taken as well – if a zero interest loan would be available to you (as they often are when buying a car), utilizing this will help save you money in the long run.
If you’re thinking of getting rid of your old car at the same time, consider trading it in to get the best price. This is more applicable when you opt to buy from a dealership rather than non-dealers. A lot of research will have to be carried out when trading your car in so that you get value for it. This course of action requires similar effort to be put in just as if you are not trading it in. We recommend that you do not negotiate if you are under any kind of pressure – if you’re in a rush, the salesperson or seller will take advantage to sell at high price.
If you are going to get the best price when buying a car, you will need to develop your haggling skills and do it like a pro. Even if the seller claims that the price is non-negotiable, you should still offer less to the seller than the asking price. If the vehicle will need to be taken for repairs, you should deduct the costs from the price offered to you by the seller.
James is a freelance marketer, dedicated traveler, and occasional business blogger. You’ll often find him hanging around Manhattan, pretending to be cool.
Photo Credit: Dougtone