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Autoland Blog

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spotting Used – but not Abused – Cars

The phrase “Let the buyer beware” is seldom more applicable than when buying a used car. Almost everyone has a friend or relative with a horror story of how they were done wrong by a crooked craigslist ad or swindled by a fast-talking salesman and wound up driving a glorified lawnmower, only with worse handling. The “Shady Used Car Salesman” is one of the oldest clichés in the country, a shyster in a plaid sport coat waiting to rob the unwitting consumer blind.       
Basically, this guy.

The reality, though, is that buying a used car can be a pain-free and easy process. By keeping a few points in mind, you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress.

Private Seller or Dealer?

The main decision you have to make is whether to buy from a dealership or from an individual seller. Though you may be able to save some money by buying a car directly from its owner, the risks involved are typically far greater. Once the money has changed hands, a private seller is under no obligation to address issues that may arise with the car. The increased legwork involved can also be a drain on your time and resources. Cars bought from an owner usually carry no certification and all of the title transfer and registrations fall to the buyer. A typically smarter bet is to visit a local new car dealership. Most places that sell new cars also have an inventory of pre-owned vehicles, allowing you to knock out a day’s worth of browsing in a matter of minutes.

Your Best Friend: The Trustworthy Mechanic

Of all the pre-planning steps you take, none are more important that getting the actual car you are thinking of buying checked out by a mechanic you trust. Any seller who refuses to let you do so should be dismissed without further thought. Most garages will take a quick look at a vehicle for a nominal fee and can usually have the car checked out within an hour.

This is another area where buying from a dealership has the edge. The dealer’s on-site garage has typically certified any car on their lot, and most will offer a warranty that will cover any significant issues. You also have the added benefit of having the licensing and registration done in-house. Any car dealer, from New Jersey to New Mexico, will have some variation on a standard pre-owned warranty. Most dealerships have a section on their website that will break down what kind of coverage is offered.

Though it can be riskier (and a little less glamorous, buying a used car doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By doing a little bit of research and making sure any car you plan to buy has been checked out by a reputable garage, you can shop with confidence and roll away stress-free! Check out Autoland's inventory of quality used and new vehicles online or stop by today! 



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