A car is a big investment. Before you make the plunge, check out these handy tips and guide to help you get a great deal.
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1. Get your financing in order and determine what kind of payment you are comfortable with.
2. Find out what the car is worth.
Doing your research can pay off and get you a much better deal. Here are some tips:
3. Start shopping around for cars at the right time.
Dealers tend to reduce prices at the end of the model year or the end of the month when dealers need to turn over stock.
4. Test drive several models on varying road conditions (hills, highways, etc.).
5. Shop around for great rates on auto insurance..
6. Negotiate the price you are willing to pay or consider shopping at a dealer or retailer who has fixed prices.
7. If buying from a dealer, discuss the option of a trade-in.
Here's a few things to keep in mind when shopping around for a used motorcycle:
Mileage - Motorcycle engines do not last as long as car engines. Any bike with more than 30,000 miles should be purchased with caution.
Body Condition - Check mirrors, grip ends, foot pegs and rear turn signals for damage.
Engine Condition - Check fluids, spark plug wires and hoses. Start in first gear with the clutch all the way in. If the bike lunges, adjust the clutch. If lunging remains a problem, the clutch may need replacing.
Tire Condition - If there is only 1/8 inch of tread or less, ask to have the price dropped accordingly.
Test-Drive - Look for flat spots in the torque/horsepower. Listen for odd noises like popping or backfiring, especially when decelerating. When you slow down, leave the bike in low gear so RPM stays high.
Blue Book Value - Before agreeing on a purchase price, look up the value using Blue Book for guidance.
When purchasing a car, it's important to obtain a copy of the car title from the dealership or seller. This will verify that the dealership or seller will have the ability to perform the required paperwork and ensures you can be recorded as the new owner.
Reduced Maintenance: Over the life of a car, maintenance fees really add up. With a new car, you likely won't need maintenance on your new car until you've driven it a couple thousand miles. Your new car also won't need a new battery, tires or electronics fix-ups for a while. You'll save yourself some money and hassle by going new.
Warranty Coverage: Most manufacturers cover new vehicles under warranties of at least 3 years, sometimes even longer. If something goes wrong with your car, they are responsible for fixing it. If you buy a used vehicle, what's left of the vehicle may not be transferrable.
Roadside Assistance: If you've ever been stranded on the side of the ride in a place you don't know because of car issues, you know how important roadside assistance can be. Most cars and trucks these days come with free roadside assistance while the vehicle remains under warranty, and, in some cases beyond. In addition, some automakers reimburse you or provide alternate transportation if you get stranded far from home.
More Choice: Car dealers everywhere are feeling the pinch of a tough economy. For a consumer, this can be a good thing because as dealerships shut down, prices of used SUVs and even midsized cars are down, and there should be more vehicles on lots due to slowing sales.
Improving Reliability: Car makers have recently started to focus more on reliability and durability. When you combine that with the increase in late-model used vehicles and the availability of warranties, buying a used car isn't such a risk anymore. Although used vehicles typically don't carry the same warranties as new ones, the original factory warranty on a new car is transferable to a second owner, usually at no charge. Buyers of used cars can purchase a late-model used car with the original warranty and then choose to add to it.
Just Like New: Due to the proliferation of certified pre-owned programs, buying a used car is now a viable option. Luxury brands such as BMW and Infiniti started these programs and they have become a popular alternative for car buyers.