The Secrets of Purchasing a Reliable Used Car
A reliable used car will save you money, time, and resale value. On the other side of that, an unreliable car will cost you money, time, and resale value. So is it worth going used over new? Well, the answer will vary depending on the situation, but any time you are able to confidently buy used, yeah, it’s worth it.
The key word is “confidence.” There are too many stories of people going to buy a used car, thinking they know enough about the quality of the vehicle, only to end up dumping tons of money into it because it was a lemon. Confidently buying a used car means you have done your research; you know what to look and listen for; and you know the right price to pay. Getting to this point before buying a used car takes a little time and effort, but it is worth it.
Buying a pre-owned car can be tricky. When living in a city the size of Charlotte, things can become daunting. But the risks taken can often be minimized, or even eliminated, simply by following a few basic rules. Here are a few tips for buying a pre-owned car to get you going in the right direction:
- Research the Car You Want
What car do you see yourself driving? (And don’t sell yourself short.) Sure a Bugatti might be out of the question, but if you have always wanted a Lexus SUV, don’t rule it out because you think it’s out of the budget. Then again, it might be out of your range, but the point is, you have to start someone in your search so why not begin with what you really want. Maybe make a list of your top four—that way, if one ends up being too pricy, you can quickly move to the next one.
Once you have a car in mind, spend time cruising around the internet doing some fact-finding. Look especially for things to watch out for in conjunction with your specific make and model, and narrow down your search as you go. Read through comparison guides and reviews on sites like kbb.org and caranddriver.com. You can also find reviews and blogs of used vehicles on various dealer websites like ours at Liberty Buick GMC.
Once you find what you like, stay firm in the “must-haves” (such as manual or automatic transmission, number of miles, engine size, etc.), but also be willing to budge on the smaller things. There is plenty of information out there, you just have to take the time to find it.
- Know What to Spend and Have Cash in Hand
Begin by finding the highest and lowest price-points for the car you want. Do this by visiting the same websites you did when searching for a car—KBB and Car and Driver. Be sure and click “Private Seller” if you are not buying from a dealership. Once you have your price range, it’s not a bad idea to talk to a professional, such as one of Liberty Buick’s sales technicians, to double-check your prices. Now you are ready to buy.
It’s difficult to say no to cold, hard cash. Having only the cash you intend to spend in your pocket also keeps you honest with yourself, as you can’t be persuaded to spend more since you only have the cash you brought with you. It’s also a good idea to have cash when out looking at possible purchases because you never know when someone will swoop in and buy the car while you’re off to the bank. What’s more, since it’s tough to turn down cash, the possibility for you to underbid a vehicle is a little better.
- Get a Professional Assessment
Having a professional look over a potential used-car purchase is often replaced with a few hardy kicks to a tire and a peep under the hood. Unless you are a mechanic—an actual mechanic who works on actual cars as a career—you need to find a trustworthy one.
It can be time consuming to take a possible car purchase to a trusted mechanic, but it’s well worth it. In fact, it’s probably the most important thing you can do. No matter what the vehicle history says, or how you felt during the test drive, why not take the time and pay the $50-$100 it takes to have a professional scour through every inch to find anything potentially wrong or worrisome? There are plenty of shops in Charlotte that are trustworthy and fairly priced, such as Kirk Brown & Sons Expert Auto Repair and any of our technicians at Liberty Buick GMC.
- The Dealer Knows Best
There are many options for quality used vehicles in the Charlotte, Matthews area. And once you have done your research, you should find that buying from a dealership is the most reliable option. This way you can avoid individuals trying to scam or con you into buying a lemon. And, the dealership will have certified paperwork proving that what they are selling you is as advertised. Still, there are a few best practices that can guarantee a successful purchase.
It is important to understand that a purchase of this sort is a contract. And before this contract is agreed upon, the buyer needs to consider the following three negotiating terms of the sale:
- No matter how good the condition of the vehicle seems to be, you need to have the car inspected. This doesn’t have to take long. After a test-drive and peruse of the inside and out, the vehicle is plugged in and diagnosed. Mechanics use what is called an On-Board Diagnostics test, or OBD, to monitor a car’s computer system. When plugging the OBD into a car, the vehicle begins to communicate any trouble codes the system has stored—any time something goes wrong with a car, a message is sent and stored in the car’s computer.
The dealership should have a mechanic on site who can conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle. Be sure to take a copy of the report for your files.
- Create a detailed contract to be signed by both you and the seller. The notion of handing over a homemade contract might seem a little silly, but this is serious business with a lot of money on the line. In this contract, include details such as if the car is being sold “as is,” or if there are applied warranties. If there are warranties still tied to the vehicle, be sure and list them all, as well as, how much they are and how long they will last. Just remember, there is no detail too small to be included in this contract. List the date, the time, who is present, and have everyone sign and date.
- Lastly, it is important to understand that nothing is final until the contract is signed by both the seller and the purchaser. And, as the purchaser, you mustn’t sign anything until the vehicle you are getting is completely as you want it. For example, do not sign a contract with an agreement that the seller will include new tires but has not yet done so. No matter how trustworthy a person seems to be, big purchases like this must be done in complete and done the right way.
Pre-Owned Vehicles at Liberty Buick
Among the many makes and models of our used cars, one that stands out is the 2018 Buick Regal. And we have a variety of Regal models ranging in price from $24,000 to $36,000.
Why the Regal? Because it has plenty to offer. For one, it saves you money by cutting back on trips to the gas station. 21 miles-per-gallon in the city and 29 highway keep cash in your pocket and allow for longer ride times. Add in the fact the 2018 Regal wagon comfortably seats five passengers and has over 73 cubic feet of storage space, and it’s already pretty appealing.
Inside the 2018 Buick Regal there are soft-touch surfaces and premium materials throughout, making this wagon the most modern and luxurious in its class. Let’s have a closer look:
- The rear seats can fold 60/40 or 40/20/40, which enables passengers to arrange storage space in a variety of ways. Up front and directly behind there is more than enough room to stretch and relax and just enjoy the ultra-smooth ride.
- The Quiet Tuning technology incorporates acoustic laminated front, side, and windshield glass, triple door sealing, and innovative suspension tuning to block out exterior noise.
- There is dual-zone climate control that automatically keeps two separate temperatures, one on the driver’s side and the other for the passenger. These temps can be preset or changed at any time.
- To top it off, the 2018 Buick Regal wagon has excellent sound with Bose Premium Audio, which has been modernized for seamless connectivity and performance.
The 2018 Buick Regal has a unique look. It resembles something of a low-sitting luxury sports car rather than what comes to mind when the word “wagon” is thrown around. Its rugged styling and sleek line-work, combined with multiple exterior features, scream adventure. Here are a few highlights:
- The sturdy, yet lightweight, aluminum roof rails and crossbars make it simple to attach and carry anything from bicycles, to kayaks, to luggage. This wonderful feature opens up even more space inside, allowing for more passengers or even more room for gear.
- The hands-free power liftgate comes with an LED sensor that reflects on the ground so you can see exactly where to hover your foot. Then, watch the back hatch open and close on its own. This makes grocery shopping and kid carrying so much easier and fun.
- Signature LED headlights come with auto-leveling technology, an advanced system to keep the path in front of you always perfectly lit. There are also fog lights and the new Arrival Sequence, which lights up the car as you approach (this is a great safety feature for those nights when you have to walk to your car alone. Just hit a button and the lights turn on).
The combination of a push-button start and keyless entry keeps you, well…keyless. No bundle of keys to keep up with, to lose or forget. Now, it’s just buttons to be pushed and you are on your way. It does not get more modern than this.
Once you have done your research and you know the price you want to pay, come see us at Liberty Buick. We’ll get you in the (reliable and used) car of your dreams.