Bob Ford

What follows are some fundamental rules that we suggest you follow if you want to be successful in buying a used car “cheap” and reducing your risk.

Rule #1

Do you Homework

a. Know the actual wholesale value of the car you want to buy.

b. Before you agree to buy a car, be sure to have it inspected by a certified mechanic.

Rule #2

Plan your buying strategy ahead of time.

Decide on your top price and then begin your negotiation at least 20% below what your willing to pay. (See “During Negotiation Tips” below.)

Rule #3

Have the Money in Hand

One of the keys to buying “cheap” lies in having the ability to “write a check” on the spot. “Cash in hand” always gets a seller’s attention. If you’re going to get a loan, get it first.

Rule #4

Be Flexible

While you may have a make, model, year and color in mind when you begin to shop, it’s a good idea to remain flexible. Great deals don’t always arrive exactly as you envisioned them

Rule #5

Be Patient

Often to get a truly great deal, you have to be patient. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re more anxious to buy than the seller is to sell, your chances of buying “cheap” are between slim and none. The key to finding a really good deal is being in the right place at the right time and that requires both persistence and patience.

Rule #6

Be Prepared to Walk from the Deal

If it doesn’t feel right, if something seems amiss, if your “gut” seems to be telling you that your prospective purchase is a mistake . . . walk away. You can always find another car.

During the Negotiation – Tips

1. Make up your mind to be pleasant, friendly and non-combative. It is very hard for a sales person to negotiate with a “nice person” who simply refuses to be “bumped.”

2. Never let the seller know exactly what you’re thinking. The only time you want to appear to reveal your true feelings is when it comes to pointing out flaws or problems in the seller’s car.

3. Never divulge what you’re really willing to pay. If you are on a dealer’s lot, one of the first questions the sales person will ask is “What are you looking to spend?” If you have not as yet settled on a car and are “just looking” you might find it to your advantage to give the sales person a price range. However, offer a price range that is twenty to thirty percent higher than your actual target price. The reason is because most any car the sales person shows you is going to be priced about twenty to thirty percent above what the dealer is willing to take.

4. Always be ready to “walk away.” Be nice. Be polite. In fact, if you’re up to it, feign some personal pain that you were unable to make the deal. As you walk away, walk slowly. Take your time getting off the lot. Chances are the sales person will make one last attempt to reach an agreeable price.

Negotiate With a Smile

When it comes to dealership sales people, keep in mind that one of your most effective tactics is to always be pleasant and remain calm. There is nothing more difficult than dealing with a person who cannot be intimidated, rushed, pushed or panicked. It’s very hard to negotiate with nice people who simply refuse to negotiate.

Once you’ve made an offer you may hear, “your not being reasonable,” or “you’ve got to meet me half way” of “my boss will never let the car go for that,” just smile politely and say,. “You have my offer. I’d like to see you earn something for all the time you’ve spent with me. But, this is the limit of my budget.”

Alicia M

I’ve done some research on used car guides and I need to know what used car guide is best to follow as a guide line for buying USED CARS in CANADA. Thank You for your insight!