Used Car Buying Checklist

How to buy a used car
written by john c ashworth

Here's Your Used Car Buyer Checklist

Remember, you need to follow every step. Your savings on your next used car will be directly proportional to how well you adhere to this list of money-saving actions.

Also remember, if you want help, I am here for you. Send an email to: with details about your car deal and I will get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Otherwise, and study this list. Then put it to work for you! One more thing...some of these actions are likely to leave you curious as to the 'Why?'. Don't worry about the why for now. Follow the steps and don't overthink them. Just do them. And once again...if you want explanation on the Why, or you want my help personally with your car deal, send email to:

Your Expert Car Buyer

1. Know how much you want to spend.
2. Don't call the dealership on the telephone.
3. Do your research. Know what to study. Need help? Call me.
4. Avoid independent dealers.
5. Ask or express interest in vehicles that cost $2,000 to $3,000 more than you want to spend. Because that's about what this checklist is going to save you! 🙂
6. Know how long a vehicle has been on the lot.
7. Look for used cars that still have some original manufacturers warrant left on them.
8. Don't buy on appearance.
9. Don't buy on emotion.
10. Don't show emotion or excitement of any kind.
11. Don't reliquish control.
12. Always remember, this is an adversary experience. It's akin to a poker game. It really is. And every single one of these items factors in to your potential savings.
13. Don't be friendly. Remain aloof and business like. Avoid the personal. Be careful. Should you run in to a real salesman, they will make it very difficult to follow this step. I used to love disarming people as a salesman. It enhanced the experience for all of us. The difference is that I could be trusted. Most salesman and dealerships cannot.
14. Ask questions about the vehicle, don't answer them!
15. Ask how the vehicle was obtained. So important! Think about
16. Get the name and phone number of the previous owner when you can.
17. Ask if the vehicle can be taken to your mechanic and take it to him. This is annoying to a dealer. Especially a good dealer, becuase they inspect the cars and have to safety them. It's the law here in Wisconsin. Still, there are occasions where they might decide not to fix something that might cost you money in repairs soon after you buy the car.
18. Test drive alone whenever you can. Without the salesman or any other dealer employees present.
19. Don't accept any excuses from the dealer or your salesman.
20. Don't be afraid to negotiate. Get a little uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable you get, the more money you'll save.
21. If and when you can, sell your trade-in yourself. That alone will save you another $2,000 at least. It might not be worth your time and that's fine, but know what you are giving up.
22. If you have a trade, don't tell them right away.
23. Don't believe or trust anything you are told. Trust but verify. EVERYTHING!
24. Very carefully consider your financing through the dealer unless you decide to go with your own bank.
25. Very carefully consider any add-ons or warranties, and only buy them after you have negotiated the price of them aggressively. They are not required and are not be purchased at full price.
26. Don't buy any insurance that the dealer offers. The only exception is GAP insurance. Just make sure you check with you own insurance agent, because often GAP is either included in your current policy or less expensive through your own insurance.
27. Always imply to the salesperson and the dealer that you are interested in #24-26, because this strengthens your negotiating position on the car.
28. Get ALL promises in writing. Don't assume anything.
29. Ask to see all service records available.
30. NEVER be in a big hurry to buy. I have a personal story about that which is what ultimately led me to the car business where I felt I could make a real difference. I did for a time, and now I'm here and able to help you. Remember, I'm always available. Click here for details of how I can help you save BIG money on your next car.
31. Generally speaking, offer $3,000 less than the asking price for the used car you are buying. Settle around $2,000 less, depending on the vehicle and how long it's been sitting on the lot. The longer it sits, the less mark-up their is, because they dealer continued to discount the price as time goes buy. It costs them money to keep it around. Still...don't get weak. Stick to that $2,000 to $3,000 and you will usually get close no matter what.
32. Take charge. Stay in charge. Make them hungry to hear your business. That's probably the best advice in this whole list. Do what you MUST DO to make them HUNGRY to EARN YOUR business.

Have fun!




About the Author
John Ashworth is a salesman, writer, Dad and full time Bohemian Athlete. aka Johnny Renaissance.

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