BIGGEST issue with car listing sites:
Prices are fake.
Scummy dealers will advertise a low price and then add $1000s in 'fees' at the time of sale.
How to spot a dealership that doesn’t recondition its cars:
Auction stickers still on windshields.
PSA: Buy that warranty for your car.
The financial breakeven point is 2 claims on average. No brainer. Important caveat: I’m only referring to Used cars. Can’t speak for New. The economics are really simple: Average cost to the dealer: ~$1,000 Average mark-up: ~$1,000 and Average claim: $1,100 So after 2 claims, you're in-the-money.
ANOTHER caveat is that there are good warranty companies and bad ones. Your likelihood of doing business with a good one is higher if you buy your car from a reputable retailer.
Buying a German car?
Get a pre-purchase inspection.
They are NOTORIOUS for oil leaks.
MOST problematic used cars:
- Range Rover
LEAST problematic used cars:
How to burn loads of money:
Buy a German car that’s out of warranty.
How you can detect a car with rolled-back miles:
- The car was a former lease
- It has no service records
This is a dead-giveaway.
When buying a car...
Take a look at the color of the exhaust smoke:
- Blue smoke = Car is burning oil
- Black smoke = Car is burning fuel
- Heavy white smoke = Gasket leaking
- Thin white smoke = Normal
Is it better to buy a used car from that specific brand’s dealership?
No, it doesn't make any difference,
Unless you're buying a Certified Pre-Owned.
In order to qualify for CPO, OEMs require dealers to recondition their used cars to a very specific standard.
And every OEM holds its franchisees to a different standard. Regardless, there may still be no difference between buying a CPO
Buying the same car from a reputable used dealership.
I know many used car dealerships that recondition all of their cars to CPO standards.
If not higher.
For anyone who has troubled credit:
When buying a car,
You never have to buy any ancillary products with your purchase.
Not a warranty. Not insurance.
It’s always optional.
If a dealer tells you otherwise, run.
When test-driving a used car:
Make sure the radio is turned off.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to hear any abnormal engine or suspension noises.
How to easily spot a sloppy dealership:
Front-line cars not parked in a straight line.
There’s something sketchy about the cheapest car on a used car listing site.
You’ve been warned.
Carfax reports contain many inaccuracies.
Use the report as a reference, but always do your own diligence.
Check your tires!
When buying a used car,
Always check the inner-facing side of the tires.
Some people will flip dry-rotted tires so that you can't see the exposed cracks.
Too good to be true:
If the price of the car looks too good to be true,
It probably is.
Especially if it's on a 3rd-party car listing site.
Always take a car for a high-speed test drive (60mph+).
Many transmission issues can only be felt or heard,
When a car hits the 5th or 6th gear.
Common mistake when buying a used car:
Not testing the brakes and rotors at high-speed.
Worn-out brakes and rotors tend to pulsate intensely.
You will feel it in your steering wheel or brake pedal.
Best season for buying a car:
Buy a used car: Late Q4
Buy a new car: Early Q1
- COVID-related supply-chain disruptions are the once-in-a-decade exception.
Never buy a car on a Saturday:
Here’s why -
- Showroom is packed
- Fresh inventory is already sold
- Salespeople less inclined to fight for your deal
Buying a car in the rain:
Buy a car when it’s raining.
You won’t be able to properly inspect the exterior body and paintwork.
And will wake up to surprises the next day.
If a dealer shows you a used car turned on and warmed up,
Faulty-engine noises typically go away after a vehicle warms up.
Always ask to try a cold-start yourself,
Ideally after a vehicle has been turned off for at least 24 hrs.
Get your trade-in appraised *before* negotiating the price of a car.
Many dealers will advertise below-market retail prices, Only to make up the margin by paying you less for your trade-in.