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Used Car Buying Tips Tips

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Get the Best Car at the Best Price

Be willing to travel. The market price for a 95 Mercedes E320 in Philidelphia might be $7,000. The same car may be had in Cleveland or Atlanta for $5,000. Ask yourself; "is it worth traveling 500 miles to save $2000? Is it worth traveling 500 miles to get exactly what you want?" Going this far to buy a car may cost you a whole weekend in time and $250 in expenses. Compare this to 7 years of ownership enjoyment you will have from getting the right car at the right price. If you find the right car on ebay or AutoTrader, don't be afraid to travel. Bring someone with you to drive your old car back. If the car you want to buy does not meet your expectations, don't buy it.

Don't be afraid to buy a V8 engine car. Poor gas mileage is mostly a mental thing. Saving $20,000 from buying a $5,000 car will buy a lot of fuel. Driving a V8 car 15,000 miles at $3.00 per gallon, will cost you only $315 more per year than a 6 cylinder! It will cost you $495 more per year to drive the V8 car compared to a 4 cylinder. For the cost of one car payment, you can drive a safe luxury car insted of a little buzz box. V8 engine cars are a real bargain right now.

Premium Fuel. Many luxury and sporty cars with higher compression engines require premium grade fuel. I have noticed that after they get about 100,000 miles of wear on them, the compression has dropped enough that they will run fine on regular unleaded. If you get some pinging noise from using regular unleaded, you may want to put premium in your tank every other time you by gas. Aviod the middle grade gasoline, as it is a rip-off. If you must use premium gasoline all the time, it will only cost you about $60 more per year.

Drive the car. Take it out for at least 15 minutes with the stereo off. Make sure reverse and all the forward gears work. Listen for noises and clunks, mostly when cornering. Make sure the odometer numbers change when driving. When you are done driving, lay on the ground in front of the car and look for leaks. Try out the heat and air. Make sure all the windows work. Check out the lights. Make sure the key locks work. Look at the dipsticks for the engine and transmisson and see if they don't have varnish burn signs on them. You will most likely find some minor problems. Bring up these minor problems when you are ready to haggle on price.

Don't be afraid to haggle. You may be a nice and likeable person. Once every 7 years you are allowed to be a mean a-hole. Make an offer $1,500 less than the asking price. If the seller is asking $6,000 for the car, offer $4,500. Do this face to face, not by email or over the phone. After you make your offer, the seller may flip out, then come back with a counter offer. Both of you may settle on $5,000 and then shake hands. It does not matter if you are dealing with a private party, or car dealer. Be strong for 5 minutes of haggle time and you can save a grand!

Bring Cash. Cash money is always accepted. Cash money gives you more buying power.

Important! Before you pay for the car, make sure the car VIN number matches the paperwork!


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