Sunday, April 15, 2012

When Purchasing a Used Vehicle, Do Your Homework or Have Someone Else Do It For You!

Purchasing a vehicle is these economic times can be rough. Money is tight and we all need to spend wisely. When thinking about purchasing a veheicle, the first thing to determine is whether to buy new or used. Purchasing a new vehicle allows you to take advantage of all the great buying deals that the dealers have to offer right now and there are many great new vehicle deals available. Always research those deals to find the best price and deal before signiong the dotted line. However, this article is dedicated to purchasing used vehicles.

In these times, when money is tight, purchasing a used vehicle is often the only option to many people. Credit scores and a meriod of other variables may be the reason for that. However, one thing is certain, and, that is the fact that you can purchase a used vehicle and get more for your money in the way of options and in most cases, it's the only way some people can purchase the vehicle they really want.

The biggest problem most people face when purchasing a used vehicle is determining the value of the vehicle they're looking at. Most times, unless you're purchasing the vehicle from someone you know, the biggest obstacle is that you don't know how the vehicle was operated, how it was maintained, and, if there are any problems with the vehicle. If you purchase a used vehicle from a dealer, most dealers will give you some sort of warranty on the vehicle, but, depending on it's age and mileage, the warranty will be short lived compared to the length of time you will own the vehilce. If you purchase the vehicle from a private party, there will most likely be no warranty. So choosing a used vehicle should be done carefully.

One way to check on a vehicle's background when the owner may not have kept as good of records as you'd like, is to use an independent vehicle reporting service.  We prefer AutoCheck.  AutoCheck is an independent vehicle report backed by Experian, a finanancial leader in the automotive industry used by over 15,000 dealers nationwide.  Check out the video below for some great information on AutoCheck. 

Not onlyNot only will you get information like the number of reported owners, but, you can also do comparison shopping with a list of similar vehicles listed right there for you in the report. And, if that's not enough, AutoCheck will buy the vehicle back from you if it doesn't live up to the reports you were provided with! Yup, it doesn't get any better than that. AutoCheck's "Buy Back Program" does exactly that. They will purchase the vehilce back from you. Check out AutoCheck today, before you buy that special used vehicle you've been thinking about!

Now, we've determined that it is key that you check into the vehicle's background. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. Always ask for the vehicle's service record. I preach all the time about keeping a good service record on your vehicles and for good reason. When selling your vehicle, it becomes much easier to negotiate a good price when you are able to substantiate that the vehicle was maintained. This requires keep all service records including oil chang and tune-up receipts along with any parts changes that were made. If you replaced the transmission on your 2008 vehicle and you have the receipt to show that this was done, it shows that you are willing to share with the buyer everything that happened to the vehicle including the things that were wrong. Likewise, when purchasing a used vehicle, take note of what things were serviced. If you have all the records in front of you, you can determine the things that might possible be comming up that you'll have to spend money on and either use that as a bargaining chip or at least, insure that you have the money to replace those items that are comming due based on the vehicle's milage.

One way to save some real money when purchasing used is to go through an auction. Auctions are a great way to purchase when you use a well established auction house. Auction houses do the homework for you. Iron Planet Motors is a great, well established auction house that is great for first time auction buyers. They send someone out to physically inspect every item that is sold through them. A report is made on the vehicle which summarizes everything you need to know about the car, truck, suv, van, or even motorcycle that you're interested in. Buying at auction also increases the area in which you'll be able to buy from. Because you don't physically have to drive to the location where the vehicle is, you can purchase a car located in a state which might be hundreds of miles away. But, by increasing the area in which you're able to shop, you can also increase the number of vehicles you have to choose from.

When you sign up for information from an auction house like Iron Planet Motors, you will receive all the information you need to determine which vehicles you're interested in. You'll see pictures of the vehicle, have a report from an independent researcher who actually went to see the vehicle, drive it, and give it a rating based on Iron Planet Motors rating scales. What could be easier?
Now, not all auctions work the same.  I suggest going with an auction house that has a very good overall rating. I recommend Iron Planet beause I have used them myself and they not only have the highest of ratings from users like ourselves, but they cater to first time auction buyers.  

They will walk you through the buying process. You can participate in the auction online from the comfort of your own home. Yup, watch the whole thing unfold right there on your laptop. And, they'll even help you out with financing and transportation of your vehicle after you've made your purchase.

Auctioned vehicle pricing depends on the number of buyers. They have a starting price so you know what the lowest bids will be. And, you'll know ahead of time exactly what you're getting into. Things like transmission noises, rod knocks, sticking valves and anything else that was found in the inspection will be right there in front of you on your report. These reports are done by people that are experts in determining the value of a vehicle. They are experienced car buyers that KNOW what to look for and can usually spot things that the ameteur will overlook, so you already have the upper hand before you make the purchase. Many great deals have been had at auctions.

So before you go out and buy your next used vehicle, why not check out Iron Planet Motors. Use one of their links on this page to sign up and get some information. Signing up for the info is free and gives you all the information you need.
The only thing left to do after you look over the information in you welcome packet is to become a registered bidder at the auction. This does require giving some personal information which is another reason we recommend Iron Planet. These guys are legitimate and will treat your personal information with the utmost care. Something to be very careful of in these days of identity theft and fraudulent activity. Be very careful of the places you register to bid at. Make sure you check out their credentials and ensure that they are legitimate before giving up any of your personal information.

So, whether you're looking for a car, truck, suv, van, motorcycle, or other fun toys, check out he information on this page to find some alternatives to driving around and possibly making a huge finanacial mistake.  Take the precautions to ensure you spend your money wisely by either getting a good vehicle history report......

Or get some information from one of the best auction houses around......

Till next time, have fun, and let us know what you bought and how you bought it. We love to hear your comments, auction stories, and any other great information we can share with our readers when it comes to buying cars, trucks, and motorcycles!

Larry and Dee
LDJ Auto Body and Mechanical

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