“The biggest misconception with used car buyers today is that all used cars of a certain make and model has a price between X and X. That is just not the case” says Doug Albee of D&H Motors in Riverside, CA.
Any reputable dealer of used cars will have a formula for determining the selling price of any individual car. That formula starts with the price the dealer paid for the car. Then there are the necessary repairs that are required to bring the used car serviceable. Complete detailing is then added to the total.
Once the used car is presentable and mechanically sound the dealer must add to the selling price his overhead and profit.
The only way any used car can be a “bargain” is for the dealer to cut corners on the preparation of the car. The unscrupulous dealer will buy his stock of used cars at auction and he will only buy those that sell for a low bid. He will then detail the car and price it on how good it looks and how it sounds. That dealer will not do more than a cursory inspection of the mechanical aspect of the car.
The car is then placed on his sales lot with a “bargain” sales price. It is at this point the Gamble begins.
The dealer is gambling the car will run past the 30 or 90 day warranty period. The buyer is gambling the car will run for a year or two without a major breakdown.
The way the car was bought and prepped by the dealer before it was placed for sale in his lot puts the dealer as the odds on favorite of winning the gamble.
This is where Mr. Albee comes into play. His crusade is to be sure no one is ripped off when buying a used car and he does that by telling every person that is considering the purchase of a used car the process that gives the consumer the upper hand with unscrupulous dealers. His four step plan is simple but works every time.
1. Always buy from a reputable dealer who has a good track record.
Look for the length of time the dealer has been in business. An unethical dealer will not last over a long period of time.
Look for reviews on line. The dealer should have at least 4 or 5 stars. Read reviews on multiple review sites and judge them as a whole.
2. Insist on a CarFax and VIN Report.
These reports will tell you if the used car title is clean and if the car has been wrecked.
3. Take the car to your mechanic for a complete inspection.
The only word of caution; Do not take the car to a dealer. A dealer is in the business of selling cars too and you run the risk that you will be told the car is bad when in fact the other dealer may just be trying to sell you a car.
4. Do purchase the extended warranty.
You are buying a used car. Even though your dealer has processed the car properly and your mechanic inspected it, used cars do break down.
If you are buying your used car from a private party, remember that purchases from a private party are all “as is”. What that means is that as soon as the title is signed and you get a receipt for the payment, the car is yours. You can still protect yourself by following step 2 and 3. Always get a CarFax Report and a VIN Report and always take the used car to your mechanic.
You can contact Mr. Albee at D&H Motors, 10158 Arlington Ave, Riverside, CA 92503 or through the web site http://www.dhmotors.com