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How to get the most value when buying a Used Car?

With lower prices and financing costs for a perfectly good set of wheels, the used car option is justified for many reasons. Also, unlike new vehicles which lose a high percentage of value when driven off the lot, used cars have a lower depreciation rate.

With more women than ever before making independent vehicle purchases, no longer does buying a used car have to be intimidating. Preparing yourself beforehand will help considerably, to ensure you are getting the most value for your hard earned money with a used car.

Women Negotiating with Car Dealers

It’s helpful to conduct your initial research online with car dealership ratings and dealer reviews, which reveal the experiences of other women like you. There are many resources geared towards women with car tips and car guides, so take advantage of what’s available for the best car dealers for women. Consider after your process is complete to then rate your dealer and write your own review, for the benefit of others.

Don’t do business with a salesperson that is pushy, disrespectful or intimidating. An increasing number of top car dealers understand the purchasing power of women, and will treat them with respect and fairness. If you experience otherwise, take your business elsewhere.

So how can you ensure you will get the best value for your money? There are things to consider beforehand, and questions to ask when on the dealer’s lot:

  1. Ask to see the mechanic’s certification inspection and paperwork documenting what needed to be fixed, which could indicate possible problems down the road. Know what extent of upgrades the dealership already had to do, such as a minor tune-up or a complete overhaul, which will indicate the value you’re getting and whether it will need more servicing soon.
  2. Ask for information about the previous owner(s), along with seeing the maintenance receipts which could reveal how it was treated.
  3. Ensure you are allowed a long period to test drive it, with even an overnight extension. You can put down in writing that you won’t exceed a certain mileage, will fill up the tank and leave your phone number and address for security.
  4. If you’re in the position of being able to pay cash and avoid financing, ask what the cash price is, as paying cash will likely get you a lowered price of approximately 5%.
  5. If financing is required, ask what kind of deal they would give you for processing it with them rather than a bank. Ensure the rate they offer is on par or lower than what your bank would offer, so do your homework on this beforehand.
  6. Ask if any extra equipment or supplies would come with the purchase price; such as several bottles of engine oil and washer fluid, or new tires, 5 free car washes or a free tune-up after 6 months etc.
  7. Inquire whether the original warranty is transferable, or what the options are of an extended warranty with this dealership.
  8. If you want to avoid the hassle of trying to sell your old car, confirm whether the dealership will take your current vehicle on a trade in, which will free you up from handling what could be a lengthy and arduous process. Ensure you know its value.

With all of these factors in mind, here a few tips in negotiating the price of the used vehicle:

  • Stay quiet about your target price when initially talking with any dealer. This will avoid setting a number which the dealership may not go below. Allow them to discuss the lowest price first.
  • Don’t hurry into buying; take the time to talk with multiple car dealerships. Either in person, by phone or email, negotiating with several dealers will ensure healthy competition resulting in a lower price.
  • Exercise your option of negotiating from home rather than in person at the dealership. This will allow you to easily and more comfortably compare offers and choose the best one for you.

So rather than a “let’s get this over with” mindset, take your time and enjoy the process of buying your used car the smart way.


Now women are more empowered thanks to the #1 resource that connects them to Certified Women-Drivers Friendly™ car dealerships in the United States. Don’t buy your next car without checking this site out and learn more about Her & His Car reviews, dealer reviews, and all the educational tips and tools you need for an informed purchase to get the best deal. Visit Women-Drivers and download your free copy of Women’s No Stress Guide to Buying a Car.

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