Used Car Tips

When it comes to Used Car, we've been there, done that, now serving 100 tips in 14 categories ranging from Avoiding Used Car Fraud to Used Toyotas.

What Makes for Good Used Car Advertising?

Used Car Advertising

Used car advertising is a very inexpensive way to find buyers for your used car. You can list with multiple services for nominal fees and reach millions of potential buyers. Thinking of posting your car in the used car listings? Here are some tips.

Use Clear, Compelling Language
You know your car best. What can you say about your car that will appeal to potential buyers? What you say might depend on who you think the buyer might be. What do you think is most important for potential buyers to know about your car?

Leave out language that doesn't give specific information about the car. Buyers must weed through many used car listings and yours is more likely to make an impression if it gives information that is useful and concise.

Be Available to Potential Buyers

  • Give good contact information and be available to talk with potential buyers about the car you are selling. It can be frustrating to go through lists of used cars for sale, find the one that seems right only to be unable to reach the owner.
  • If possible, include two methods of contact, such as telephone and email.
What Should I Look for in Used Car Classified Ads?

What to Look for in Used Car Classified Ads

There are certain things you should look for when it comes to used car classified ads.

Search Used Car Listings with an Eye for the Facts
Well-written used car classified ads should contain nuggets of useful information. For instance, information that you should look for includes:

  • Make, model and year of the used car
  • Engine size
  • Odometer reading
  • Color of car
  • Price of the used car
  • Any special features of the used car
  • Contact information

When reading used car classifieds, buyers may also look for important details related to the used car's history; for example, “only one owner,” “very clean,” or “with all service records.”

Make a List of Any Questions You Have About the Car or the Ad
Used car classifieds have to impart a lot of information with just a few words. As you read the ads, make a list of any terms or information you have questions about. Some examples might include:

  • Unusual abbreviations
  • Whether the owner is willing to negotiate on the price
  • When the car will be available for viewing or a test drive
  • If the title is available
  • If the advertiser is the owner of the used car for sale.

How Can the Internet Help Me Find a Used Car?

Improving Your Used Car Search with the Internet

The Internet has changed the way consumers shop and buy. Even if you don't want to make your purchase from an online used car dealer, the site can still be useful. Why should you research used cars online even if you want to buy locally? Here are some tips.

Searching Online Lets You Learn About Used Cars at Your Leisure.
When you search for and learn about used cars in the comfort of your home, you don't have to worry about hovering dealers or dealers too busy to answer questions. You can look for all the answers you need online.

Searching Online Lets You Cast a Wider Net
Particularly if you are just starting your used car search you may want to consider many options. You can cover more ground more quickly by searching online. The bonus – no pressure while you are” just looking.”

Searching Online Forces You to Slow Down
Sometimes when shopping for a used car, buyers take one look at the car and decide to buy with no thought to vehicle history, mileage or any other important factors. The very nature of Internet use encourages those searching for used cars to look beyond the picture and learn more about the car before buying.

How Can I Search for and Buy a Used Car Online?

Searching and Buying a Used Car Online

There are countless online used car dealers. Most use similar programs for searching and buying used cars online. Here are some tips to help you learn about the process.

Research Dealers
It is okay to register with and learn about several online used car dealers before you get started. Although the process is largely the same from dealer to dealer, the level of service is not. Choose to work with an online used car dealer that is committed to your ongoing satisfaction.

Browse Widely
There are millions of used cars available for sale online. Look at many of them so that you get an idea of the features that are available and most important to you. Compare vehicles and prices.

Budget for Your Purchase
Combined research and budgeting should give you a clear idea of what you are looking for in a car in terms of prices and features.

Research the Cars You Are Considering
Most buyers of used cars prefer autos that have had one owner and are well maintained. Use service records, seller feedback and vehicle history reports to be sure you are getting a sound vehicle.

How Do a Resolve Problems with my Online Used Car Purchase?

Problem Resolution When Buying a Car Online

If your purchase is covered by any guarantees, they are probably time limited. You should inspect the body closely and have a mechanic inspect the car closely, as well. Generally, problems should be reported within 24 to 72 hours of delivery. It is best to make your report in writing. You should keep copies that you can refer to later, if necessary.

If you make your report via email, it is a good idea to back up your documentation in case of computer problems. If you do not complete these inspections within the allotted time, you may have no recourse if problems arise later.

Familiarize Yourself with the Arbitration Policies
Of course, your first step is to try to arrive at a resolution with the seller. You should keep a record of each exchange. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the seller you may need to proceed to the next step, which is mediation. For a nominal fee many online used car auction sites can direct you to the services of an online dispute resolution center. In most cases, the problem can be resolved with the help of a mediator. In extreme cases, further intervention may be required. You should check with your online used car dealer to learn how they handle these kinds of situations.

What Should I Look for When Inspecting a Used Car?

Tip for Visual Inspection When Buying From Used Car Dealers

Before you even take the car for a test drive you should perform a visual inspection of the car, both inside and out, as part of your due diligence. You don't need a mechanic for this initial inspection. Remember, most used car dealers are honest, but it is up to you to protect yourself by being a proactive used car shopper.

Check under the Hood

  • Be sure that all fluid levels are adequate.
  • Be sure that the oil is clean.
  • Check the battery

Check the Tires for Even Wear.

  • Uneven wear may suggest a problem with the frame or vehicle suspension.

Inspect the Body

  • Look for any signs of rust, which is very difficult to repair and often must be replaced.
  • Notice any paint discoloration that may indicate bodywork following an accident.
  • Check head and tail lights, as well as signals.
  • Notice the color and odor from any smoke emitted when the car is started. If there is a burning odor or thick, black smoke, that may indicate a problem.

Go Over the Inside

  • Look for signs of water leakage or condensation (mold/mildew) that is not related to the air conditioning unit.
  • Check under the mats for damage as well.
  • Be sure locks, windows and safety belts work.

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Joe Wallace