Many people don’t realize that the value of a new car drops by 20% as soon as you drive it off the lot. Unless you’re getting a 20% discount or you love to spend lots of extra money, it might not be worth draining your budget for a new car. If you learn how to buy a used car in the Fresno, California area, you can save money and get something surprisingly great.
If you want to be sure that you’re getting the best deal on a used car in Fresno, follow these 5 tips.
1. Set Your Budget
The first thing you need to know is how much you can afford to spend on a used car. Prices will vary based on age, mileage, or additional features but you should expect to spend at least $3,000 on an ugly but reliable used car. One that’s in great shape inside and out will cost you closer to $5,000 to start with.
From there, it’s all about what kind of car you want. If you want something that’s a little pricier, you might be eligible for a loan. The problem with getting a loan for a used car is that you’ll be paying a lot more than you would if you paid cash outright.
Additionally, when you show up with the money in your hand for a used car, you hold all of the power. The person or the dealer with the used car wants to sell it right away. You could be haggling down to getting a lower price if you’ve got the money ready to go right now.
2. Know Which Cars Are Hot Right Now
Knowing which cars are hot and which ones aren’t will let you know what you should be looking for. A popular make and model might go for a much higher price than a similar car that’s just not as hot at the moment. If price is a factor for you, you should look at reviews and features more than you should look at colors and brand names.
Some cars will be more popular in different regions for a variety of reasons. They could be marketing to young college students in Fresno or they could be marketing toward jet-setters who only come to town during the winter. Regardless of why they’re popular, you need to know what people are driving and think outside the box to find the best value.
Talk to dealers and take a search through some back issues of auto magazines. Look for which cars are winning the most awards and that should give you a clue as to which cars will be dependable, regardless of how hot they are.
3. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
One of the best reasons to buy a used car is that you can get something good for a low price and without a lot of the overhead of buying a new car. People like to buy used cars because they can pay for them outright with the cash they’ve saved up and walk away with something good in just a few hours.
Buying a new car often requires getting a loan to pay it off that could drag on for years. You could be paying a premium price for a new car long after its worthwhile or after it’s cost you a lot of money in repairs.
A used car offers a different approach. If you can help it, you shouldn’t end up in debt. If you’ve been able to save a few thousand dollars, you should be able to buy your used car outright.
Getting into debt over a used car isn’t worth it. Rather than buying something that’s tricked out with all the extras, get something that’s within your means and that suits your lifestyle. While it might not be as fun, making responsible decisions will take the financial stress off your shoulders.
4. Narrow Down Who Has What in Fresno
Get to know all of the the used cars sale at Clawson Truck Center. Every dealer has a specialty, whether it’s by automaker or by the class of cars. Some dealers will specialize in luxury sedans while others will have a wider selection of trucks and cars with four-wheel drive.
Take a look at what people are offering online and call up a few dealers. Read what people have to say about each dealer. If there are a lot of bad reviews, steer clear. The last thing you need to do is to get involved with a shady dealer you don’t feel comfortable with.
You need to have a balance between what you expect and what is on the lot. While your dealer might not have what you’re looking for, they’ll be happy to sell you something else.
But if you’re not in love with that “something else”, you might have to go somewhere else for your used car needs.
5. Make Sure You Balance Everyone’s Needs
When you’re shopping for a used car, be sure that you’ve listened to everyone in the family. If you have a spouse or significant other, you should have an understanding of what they need in a car. Unless you’ve got separate vehicles, you’ll need to find a compromise.
Additionally, if you have a family or big pets, you’ll need some extra space for them. While you might not have the budget for a massive stretch SUV, you should be sure any car seats, furry friends, or grumpy teens have room to move.
Learning How To Buy A Used Car is Easy
When you’re first figuring out how to buy a used car, there’s a lot to navigate. If this is your first used car, you might be overwhelmed with choices. The only thing you need to do is to stay focused and keep firm about what you want and what you don’t.
If you want to ensure that the dealership you work with cares about the community, check out what we do for the Fresno region. Check them out on youtube as well – Clawson Truck Center – Used Car Dealership