Is it best to buy local used cars?

it best to buy local used carsDespite what you see on TV and internet media, most people can’t afford to go out and buy a brand new car every five or ten years. The majority of Americans buy and drive used vehicles. With the advent of the internet, buying used vehicles outside of your locale is becoming very common. But is this the best thing to do? In the end, it all depends on the buyer. Purchasing local used cars from either an individual or a dealer can have it’s pros and cons. With that being said, know that you are supporting your local economy when you buy local; and that’s what America is all about!

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Pro’s For Buying Locally

There are many positives and negatives to buying local. Some of the positives include supporting your local economy as mentioned previously. Secondly, by purchasing locally, you’ll develop a relationship with your used auto dealer. The more he trusts you, the better service and satisfaction you’ll get. Another positive is the fact that if there is a shady dealer out there, chances are you’ll hear of it and will be able to avoid that dealership.

Most local dealers will be able to tell you the history of the vehicle, or can at least get a history from an online source for you. Similarly, once you establish a solid working relationship with a local dealer, he’ll be more likely to tell you if there is anything wrong with the vehicle before you find out the hard way. Its always better to know up front if there is going to be any repairs to be made before buying. Sometimes, a local dealer will offer to have an issue fixed for you by his mechanic for a lesser fee than you would pay for another mechanic to work on the car.

Con’s For Buying Locally

Though not many, there are a few negatives to buying local. By purchasing from local dealerships or from individuals, you might not be getting the best price. If you live in a rural area, this is especially true. Since there aren’t many options available, some dealers might jack up their prices because they know you’ll pay it in the name of convenience. Always check the blue book value of a vehicle to have a little knowledge under your belt when negotiating a price for a used vehicle.

Classified Ads and Online Purchasing

is it best to buy local used carsBuying a used vehicle from a classified ad or from an online source also has it’s advantages and disadvantages. You’ll get a wider selection of makes and models, of course. You also might get a better deal than you would from a local dealer. But at the same time, you probably don’t know who you’re buying from or even if the car is stolen or has been involved in an accident.

Some dealers will purposefully withhold this kind of information to your detriment. Another disadvantage is travel time. If you find “the car of your dreams” online, you might have to travel some distance to take a look at it, and then arrange for someone to take you there so you can drive it home.

Most people should beware of buying from an online or hard copy ad. It is always a good idea to establish a good relationship with an auto dealer that you can trust and who has a good reputation as a square dealer. If you must purchase from an unknown source, do your homework. Better yet, take your favorite mechanic along for the drive, if you can get him to go. It is also recommended to get a history of the vehicle to make sure that it isn’t stolen and to see if it has been involved in an auto accident in the past.

Summary List of Pro’s and Con’s

The Pro’s for buying locally:

  1. Support for your local economy
  2. Relationship development with a local dealer
  3. Building trust
  4. You’ll know a dealer’s reputation by asking around
  5. Issues can be fixed before the purchase
  6. Certified history and confident purchase

The Con’s for purchasing local used cars:

  1. Limited choices
  2. You might pay more for the car
  3. You’d better do your homework

Making the Final Decision

best to buy local used carsWhether you purchase local used vehicles, from an online source, or classified ad it is an absolute essential to have reliable information about a given make and model. It will also help out to have a blue book on hand to make sure you aren’t getting stiffed during the price negotiations. Even though there are several negatives to buying locally, it seems that the positive aspects far outweigh the negatives.

This is especially true after you have developed a good working relationship with a local dealer. Regardless of where you buy, do your homework and be smart when you purchase a used vehicle. If you are in doubt about a vehicle, invite a third party mechanic to take a look at the vehicle and always get as much information about the car’s history as you can.

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