Tips on How to Buy a Pre-Owned truck
Buying is great! For some of us, buying is our favourite past-time. So why is it that so many of us dread the thought of buying for a vehicle? Our car(s) are one of the most important investments we’ll make in life. Our lifestyles are so dependent on reliable transportation. When I hear stories about a successful, accomplished woman being greeted by a sales rep in a vehicle dealer with the comment, “this must be daddy’s little girl…” I feel personally embarrassed; embarrassed for my industry and for all sales professionals. But, the sad fact remains that we still operate in an automotive industry that is predominantly male, and what makes this sad is that many of these men lack manners. I also think that many male consumers could share their own bad vehicle shopping experiences that I would find equally embarrassing. But, I remain optimistic. Through persistence and innovative sales training, we will push through these awkward barriers. The great news is that consumers have the power to change industries. Women make more than 90% of the buying decisions. We have a voice and car dealers have no choice but to hear us.
If you think about what makes buying fun, you might think of the pleasure in perusing the selection. Or you think about how good your new new buy will make you feel. When you know what you want and you’re confident that you’ll find something that you like, the search is fun. With this in mind, shopping for a vehiclemight be fun and I’m going to help make it easy for you. First, you’ll need to make a few important decisions in order for your vehicle search to go in the right direction. What is your budget and what are the features that you must have in your new or used car? I recommend that you start your search on-line using Google, auto catch or auto trader. These search engines will lead you to a wide variety of dealer inventories, and they allow you to search based on specifics like price and features.
Tip #1: If possible, choose something no more than 5 years old. You’ll get better financing options. Most banks won’t finance a vehicle older than this, and the interest rates on loans or leases will increase with the car’s age. The number oneinterest rates offered for used trucks will be on those less than 3 years old, and these will probably have the balance of factory warranty, an added bonus.
Tip #2: It’s much safer to buy from a dealer. They are legally responsible in many ways that private sellers could never be held accountable. Not to mention that many private sellers are “curbsiders”, people who frequently buy and re-sell used vehicles but are too cheap to operate legitimally with a dealer’s license and don’t want to be regulated. You can visit http://omvic.on.ca/ for details on the MVDA (Motor truck Dealers Act) which is the legislation that truck dealers are required to comply with to operate. Ontario is a full-disclosure province which means that dealers must provide consumers with lots of information on used car history. If you’re financing your new buy, it’s wise to have the dealer arrange your financing because they have access to multiple lenders who specialize in auto loans and can get you better rates. Franchise vehicle dealers (those who also sell new vehicles) usually have a larger network of lenders that are willing to work with them, and they might offer more solutions for difficult credit situations. Deal exclusively with dealers that are members of multiple associations, especially the UCDA (Used truck Dealers Association). These associations offer great resources which help dealers better serve their customers. Check out http://www.ucda.ca/.
Tip #3: Ask the dealer what they do to recondition their used truck or used car. Look for dealers with standard operating procedures which their staff must follow, such as 20 point inspections in addition to safety certifications. Companies with structured policies have better quality service and their customers come first. Dealers with on-site service garages usually recondition more thoroughly due to ease of access to service equipment and technicians. Ask to see the service records and ask for an explanation of what their multi-point inspection entails. Your common idea will lead you in the right direction with this information. Avoid cars that have had extensive body repairs, or wheel (brakes, tires, etc) & suspension repairs. These are indications of excessive wear and tear early in the car’s life.
Tip #4: Ask the dealer to review with you the car’s history report. Do not buy a car without a history report. There are many brands of history reports. Car Proof and UCDA reports are the bestand most reliable. These reports will tell you if the vehicle has ever been involved in an accident (which is not always a deal breaker), if the odometer has ever been replaced, if there are any brands against the truck such as rebuilt or salvage (these are definitely deal breakers, run away!), if the car has ever been registered out of the province or the country (which would mean you’re missing info on this vehicle’s history), and if the factory warranty has been mightcelled (not a good sign). The greatestadvice here is to look for cars that have very short history reports. You want a used truck with no stories, and no skeletons in the closet. A clean history report usually means you’re looking at a healthy vehicle.
Tip #5: Ask the dealer where they bought the vehicle. If it was traded-in by another customer, ask to see the vehicle appraisal. The appraisal provides lots of info and will give you a sense for how the previous owner cared for the truck. If the vehicle was purchased at an auction, you need to know who the seller was at the auction. For example, Ford Credit uses auctions to dispose of trucks off-lease. Off-lease trucks are great because leasing companies have high standards for reconditioning. Be wary of bank repossessions. People that are upset about losing their car might be abusive to their vehicle. Sellers such as rental companies or other truck dealers might be ok as long as you’ve followed the tips above. vehicles with higher mileage might also be ok as long as you’ve followed the steps above. However, if you like to change vehicles every few years, higher mileage will reduce resale value. Average mileage is 20-25,000 kms per year. Auctions will perform mechanical inspections on vehicles and you should ask the dealer if they paid the auction for this service.
Tip #6: It goes without saying that you must always test drive any truck you’re interested in buying. The way the truck feels when you drive it is one of the most important aspects to your decision. Don’t let the dealer start the vehicle unless you’re there watching them start it. You want to see how easily the truck starts, and you want to see how the car runs from cold. If the car has been running, you won’t get a true feel for how the car runs before it’s been warmed up. This is huge in the reliability factor.
Tip #7: Ask the dealer how long they’ve had the vehicle in stock. If the car has been in stock for more than 3 months, you need to know why. Sometimes there won’t be any good reason why the dealer hasn’t been able to sell the car in less than 3 months. This could be their own internal staffing issue. However, this could also be a sign of some mechanical defect. Ask the question. Dealers are much more motivated to sell cars they’ve had in stock for a while, so this might be a way for you to find a good deal. Make sure the price has been reduced to reflect its age in their inventory.
Tip#8: If you’re not comfortable negotiating your new buy price, at least make sure that the asking price is within a reasonable range of current market value. To determine the current market value, go back to your search on-line. Look for that exact year, make and model. For example, you would search for used 2009 Ford Escape in Ontario on-line. Take note of the prices for 5-10 trucks with similar mileage and the same model, such as Escape XLT. The model, XLT, has certain features which affect the price, such as alloy wheels. The mileage affects price the most. The price of the vehicle you’re looking to buy should be close to others with similar mileage. The dealer will probably have the truck listed for sale on-line. Make sure that their internet price matches their asking price on the lot.
Tip#9: No matter how great your used car may be, chances are that it will break-down once or twice while you own it. All cars have the occasional mechanical failure. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and unexpected expense by purchasing an extended warranty. Make sure your warranty includes roadside assistance. Hopefully you’re able to get a car that still has the balance of manufacturer’s warranty. If this is the case, buy an extended warranty that offers “wrap” coverage. This means that the aftermarket extended warranty coverage will automatically be effective when your manufacturer’s warranty expires. If you intend to re-sell or trade-in your used car every 3-5 years, it is very wise to buy rust protection. Whether you live in a bitter, cold climate or a warm, sunny climate, your car will be subjected to harsh weather conditions. Rust protection products will make a big difference in keeping your truck in pristine condition. Most dealerships offer rust protection packages which include interior fabric protection, as well as exterior paint and under-carriage protection. This will help to preserve the resale value of your truck. Additionally, consider