Doing Your Own Car Buying Research

car buyingEveryone has experienced it at least once or twice in his or her adult lives’ the time when it comes to buy a car. Whether that car is new or used, the buying experience can be quite eventful. If you’re looking to do your own car buying research, there are a few things you must consider before making that first google search.

Searching for a car is certainly a lot of work. You need to check all parts of the car to be sure that everything is up to critical standards. You need to make sure that the car is fairly represented in both presentation and price. This means that you need to ensure that you are getting what you see. All too often, customers are misled simply by the physical presentation of the car, such as:

  • how it looks on the outside, i.e., color, style, etc.
  • how good the interior looks, i.e., leather, buttons, bells, seats.

When you’re dealing with car brokers (used or new car salesmen), you’re going to be dealing with individuals who have the best interest of the sale in mind, rather than your own best interest in mind. They’re more focused on making the sale, and getting as much money as they can out of the sale, so they’re likely not to be inclined to go into as many details as possible.

This is why you must always be ready to go into “investigator’s mode”.

This is not to imply that car salesmen are dishonest, by any means. They are simply business people, like any other, and that is how you must look at the business interaction. For you as a customer, this simply means that you must also be prepared to do your own homework to make sure that you’re getting the car that’s being represented to you, and that there aren’t any details that aren’t discussed, but ones that you may find very important. For instance:

  • Accident Details

Let’s say the used car was in an accident, but was successfully repaired with no signs of visible impact. The car salesman will most certainly disclose this to you and will likely assure you that you have no worries as far as that is concerned. But it’s also likely that in the future, the impact from the accident may affect other parts of the car in terms of its operation, which may cause you to spend even more money in getting it repaired later. If you know exactly what type of impact it was, and what parts of the car were affected, you can determine if you’re likely to expect other problems down the road. This is a personal decision, but having all of the details of the situation is going to best serve your interests.

  • Car Owners

car buyingJust how many owners has this car had? Why is that important to know? Well, every owner treats and handles their car differently, so this is subjective at best. What one person deems good care, another one may consider it marginal. Knowing how many owners there were helps you in deciding if it’s worth it to invest in a car that’s had three or four owners. You also have to determine why there have been so many owners. Does the car operate erratically? Why did the first owner sell it? What about the second and subsequent owners…why did they sell?

Getting all of the information you need in order to make an informed decision about purchasing your vehicle is important, so the best way to do that is to search and look for pertinent information. You can launch searches on just about everything, including auto information. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car will give you all of the information that you need to know about a its history. You can also launch searches about the car company selling the car(s), and make purchasing determinations based on the information that you receive.

Be as thorough and investigative as you can be about the vehicle, its past and the car company that is representing it. Ask questions, but also look for and read information that’s not readily available from the dealer. You’ll be more informed in the decision process, but more importantly you’ll be glad to have so much detailed information at your disposal.


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One Response to Doing Your Own Car Buying Research

  1. bentafahr says:

    Thanks for that Noah, I remember when I was car shopping a few years ago.. it was so stressful. I found a lot of good info., like this on edmonds.com and it really eased a lot of my fear. there were customer ratings on both the cars and dealers, with info on specific cars in the dealers inventory, some that they didn’t bring up till I did. It felt good to go in more prepared.

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