According to USA Today, the average price for a new car is something like $33,500. This is no chump change, and a hefty price tag to see if you don't really have enough funding for a brand new vehicle. By comparison, you can usually find a used car model for a fraction of the cost simply because it has already been used for a while, which makes buying a used car a better fit for a lot of budgets. If you plan to seek out a used car dealership, there are certain questions you really should be asking the salespeople, even though they may seem a bit odd.
Where does the dealership's inventory come from?
Are the cars on the lot specifically from trade-ins at another car dealership owned by the same people? Were the cars on the lot bought at auction? From private individuals? On consignment? You may think it really doesn't matter where a car was purchased from or how it landed at the used car dealership, but you really should. Finding out how a dealership fills their inventory tells you a lot about the vehicles they will have on the lot. For example, cars bought at auction may have been damaged or flawed when purchased so they could be bought at a cheap price, fixed, and resold for a hefty profit.
Can you take the car to your own mechanic?
The car lot probably has their own mechanic on site to tackle issues with vehicles on the lot, so why would you want to take a car to your own mechanic? The answer is pretty simple, getting a used car a health assessment by your own mechanic gives you an unbiased opinion about the vehicle from someone who is not associated with the dealership. While most used car dealers will be open about any issues they know about, it is always best to get a second, unaffiliated opinion about a vehicle before you buy it.
Are the cars on the lot priced according to fair market value?
Cars have an estimated value that is considered to be their fair market value and their resale value. Many used car dealerships will use these value estimates to set the price of a vehicle, but some do not. A used car dealership usually has the option to mark the vehicle's price up a certain percentage above the fair market value. Make sure you ask about this before you start negotiating a price for any vehicle you are genuinely interested in. Doing so may help you get a better rate.