Buying A Used Car Like A Boss. Another Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, and I’m counting my blessings that Erin didn’t come home with another car. See, in the radio world, Memorial Day Weekend isn’t spent in the backyard with a kiddie pool and a grill. Memorial Day Weekend is spent at a different car dealership every day. For Erin, this is paradise. Every day she comes home with a different car she’s convinced the poor sales guys to let her “try out for the weekend.”
Then comes the begging.
Erin’s pure evil because she knows I’m incapable of ever saying “no” to her, (which is how we got our 5 year old Zoe, the dog, the four foster kittens we’re currently caring for). So trying to get through the holiday weekend is always a challenge.
Maybe the both of you DO agree it’s time for another car. There’s five really handy things to know to make sure you’re not driving home a lemon.
Buying A Used Car Like A Boss
- Research the car: did you know every make and model has great years, where everything works and everyone’s happy-then bad years, when the manufacturer adding something that had to be recalled or just turned a good vehicle in something so terrible you wouldn’t even let your boss drive it. (Editor’s note: not YOU, Justin. We love YOU.) A simple Google search will tell you what you need to know.
- Financing: most banks won’t give you a loan for a car that’s older than 5 years, but if you need the loan, there’s a couple of online lending sites with good reputations for lending on used cars. I’ve heard of Lightstream and Auto Credit Express. Most of the bigger dealerships are also offering their own financing options as well.
- Negotiating like a boss: having already done your research on the car makes a huge difference. Heading on to the lot knowing what the car’s worth and what may or may not be an issue makes negotiating much quicker. If you hate haggling, there’s some dealerships now that do the work for you, set a price and you simply buy it if you like it. My favorite is Mark Miller Subaru here locally. There’s some good suggestions here for haggling if you need some practice.
- Check the car’s history on Carfax. I’m not saying that maybe they drove that truck into the lake while they were trying to launch their boat, but it’s better to know. (Yes, I do know someone who’s done that and no, it wasn’t me. Thankfully.)
- Seal the deal: use Bluestar before you sign anything. A Bluestar check means the car has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb by a reputable, licensed mechanic who understands that make and model. It’s a quick check on their site. There’s a video below that explains the process.
Good luck! May the automotive gods smile upon you!
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