Buying a car can be a difficult process. First you have to find the perfect make and model, making sure that the vehicle has every specification you are looking for. Then you have to find the perfect dealer, preferably one that is reputable and has favorable reviews. The process becomes increasingly more difficult when it comes to buying a used or pre-owned car. Used car dealerships, and their sales teams, are often dogged with the label of being manipulative users that will say anything to sell a car. While this is mostly an unfair stereotype there are some used car dealerships that are willing to lie to you to sell a car. This creates a nightmarish scenario. How can you tell who is telling the truth and who is selling you a lemon? Luckily there are ways to differentiate between an honest and dishonest used car dealership. Read on to see some tips on how to make sure you arent scammed when you go to purchase a used car.
Look at the CarFax
Knowing the history of the vehicle you are about to purchase is a crucial step that cannot be ignored when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. Dishonest dealerships will go to great lengths to make a broken down car look brand new. Thats why it is important to check a vehicles CarFax before making any purchasing decisions. A CarFax report will tell you the vehicles history and divulge any necessary information.
An honest dealership will have no problem handing over a CarFax report if requested and may provide one to you without your asking. If this happens then you can be fairly certain that you are dealing with an honest dealership. If the dealer is hesitant in providing a CarFax report then you may be dealing with a dishonest dealer. It is also important to make sure that if a report is provided that it isnt doctored. Take time to review the report and make sure there isnt any incorrect or misleading information.
Ask for Maintenance Records
Similar to CarFax reports, maintenance records will tell you how well the vehicle you are looking to purchase was kept up before it was sold. This is a very revealing record that can make or break your purchasing decision. Take time to look over the maintenance report to see how well the car was treated. This can be a very good indicator of how the car may last if you purchase it.
Again an honest dealer will have no problem providing you with a maintenance report if they have one on record. A dishonest dealer may try to avoid the question or give an excuse as to why they may not have a record. If that happens then you may not want to trust that dealer.
Check the Certification
There are many certifications in the world of pre-owned vehicles but the most trusted one is the manufacturers certification for a pre-owned car. If the manufacturer has certified the vehicle then it is most likely in fairly good shape. Other certifications can be trusted as well, but it is important to check who is certifying what in order to tell what certification is honest or dishonest.
Ask Friends/Family or Check Online Review Sites
The most trusted source of information is usually your family and friends. They will give a straightforward answer as to what dealership is honest or dishonest. They may also share stories of places to avoid or recommend places that they liked that you should visit.
Similarly, internet review sites like Yelp or Dealerrater.com will have reviews from regular people like you, which can help you find a reputable used car dealer. Using these sources can help you find a reputable dealership before you even set foot on their lot.
Finding a reputable used car dealership can be difficult. But if you take the time and do your research you will find an honest dealer that just wants to help you find the perfect used car.