Seriously? More than 100 useful tips for careful used-car shoppers


100+ tips for used-car shoppers?

Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on how confident – and experienced – you are buying used, we suppose.

But those shoppers who are neither may want to consider the compilation from experts at, a well-known online resource for automotive information.

And even if you are confident and/or experienced, you may pick up some ideas you can use.


While a little heavy on promotion of the resources available at Edmunds, the list is wildly ambitious, delving into virtually every aspect of the used-car-buying process from getting auto loan pre-approval (No. 1) to remembering that private-party purchases are “as is” (No. 106).

Edmunds takes you from “Getting Started” to “Where to Shop,” “Tips on Pricing,” “Vehicle History Tips,” “Test-Drive and Inspection Tips,” “Negotiating,” “Buying a Used Car at a Dealership,” “Finalizing a Private-Party Used Car Deal” and “Handling Private-Party Complications.”

Among the more entertaining tips are:

  • 31 – Some used cars listed in classified car ads are being sold by curbstoners. These fly-by-nighters resell cars they have purchased from a variety of low-level sources …
  • 38 – Some used-car dealers present the Kelley Blue Book price as though it has been written in stone. In fact, Kelley is just one of many pricing guides …
  • 61 – Bring golf clubs or other large items you often carry to test the cargo area’s capacity …
  • 66 – Don’t test-drive a car in the rain or snow if you can help it. You won’t get a true feeling for how the car drives under normal conditions …
  • 78 – As hard as this may be, don’t show enthusiasm for the car. This weakens your negotiation stance. Use your best poker face.
  • 90 – Just as you do with a new car, you’ll conclude your used car purchase at a dealership’s finance and insurance (F&I) office. If you’ve had a long negotiation, you might be tired. But be sure to keep on your toes. Don’t sign a purchase contract just to “get it over with.”

Although you may think all of this would lead to information overload, just remember that purchasing a vehicle is the second-largest purchase most people will make.

If that’s not worth a little research, what is?

Even if you don’t use all of them.

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