I bought a used car last night, and if you’re new to buying used, please read this so you don’t fall into the traps.

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by  InTheEndThereWasPie

I love the car buying process. It’s fun, I take my time, test drive cars, find what I like and try to find a good deal on a 2-4 year old car.

Car salesmen are not the ones you need to fear. Many of them are great, and work long hard honest hours to push some cars. As my dad told me before he dropped me off to buy my first used car, “When they get you in the back room, that’s when they’re going to try to screw you.”

If you think that’s a joke or an understatement, please accept the fact that it is neither. When you sit down in the chair in the finance office, you need to be as alert as a deer in hunting season. Here’s how they tried to get me, and I hope I can help one person not get taken.

-When I sat down, the finance manager had already opted in on my behalf for every single add-on available. I mean, all of them. They do this every time, and all they need is one final signature, not individually to keep them on. It had an extended warranty, Gap coverage, alarm system, electronics warranty, and a couple others I’ll never remember. It was 10:30 at night when I finally got out of there and was exhausted.

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Two things to know: 1) You are not obligated to ANY of them, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY. When I had crappy credit, I was almost convinced when they told me the finance company REQUIRED Gap Insurance. Don’t believe the nonsense.

2)Apparently, after my experience last night, they are not required by any means to explain to you what you’re buying. Unless the finance manager I used broke several laws, after an hour of him explaining “every detail” there was still an extended warranty for a whopping $3,000 that he barely even alluded to! When I finally said, “What’s this warranty you keep saying is included?” I knew the car was under manufacturer’s warranty for a short time still, I thought he was talking about that. Nope. I literally had to ask specifically, “What am I paying for that?” Without me asking that very specific question, he had no intention of mentioning the price. The car still had 13k miles on the warranty, and they wanted to sell me a new one…

-You DO NOT have to buy the $1,000-$1,500 alarm system/insurance plan they will almost cry rather than remove. This was the longest part of the process as I waited twenty minutes while they fought me the entire way, using every trick in the book. Don’t buy it, don’t let them win. Finally, they left it on AND didn’t charge me.

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**With all that being said. There are some that you can drastically change the price of and get a good value on something that matters. They offered a dent/scratch repair on the body and wheels for five years for $895. I spent over $1,000 over the last four years on my last car from my car being hit while parked at work, so I offered them $300 and they took it. It’s something I know with no deductible I can get great value out of.

What’s difference? The difference between the number I walked in that room to and the one I left with was $150 a month… (Edit: Meaning, I left with $150 lower monthly payment after stripping everything to the bone)

Agree or disagree with anyone of this, but if I can help one person not get taken, this twenty minutes was worth it.

Good luck out there!

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