Under The Hood

Buying A Used Car At The Dealership? Never Do These 4 Things


For the past 50 years, the main way people bought cars was by visiting used car dealerships. The way it used to go, you would get into your car, drive to a dealership, negotiate a deal and then drive to another dealership where you’d haggle for another deal, so you could weigh the two against each other. Savvy people would gather up to three or four deals, and then pick the best one. But how about getting those deals in the first place? It's much easier said than done. 


Face it; you buy a car every 5-10 years. Car dealers are selling them every day. They know all the tricks to get the most money from you and everyone else because it’s their job. The first tool you need in your toolkit is humility.


You can’t walk onto the used car lot thinking you’re going to beat car dealers at their own game. Your goal should be to get a fair deal. So, rather than preparing yourself for battle, let’s talk about how you can buy a car without doing battle against a used car dealer.


Don’t fall into the finance trap 


Don’t give a car dealer the chance to upsell you on an auto loan. If you’re in need of a loan, get one at the bank before you even go to the lot. This will take away one of the biggest weapons used car dealers have to increase the price on you.


Be sure to check your credit score (which you can do for free at creditkarma.com) and get a loan you can manage. 


Don’t trade your car in 


By giving away your car, you’re now stuck in the used car dealer trap. Without a car you’ve got nowhere to go and they control the leverage you have for buying a new car. Besides, your only shot at a fair deal is not backing down on the selling price of your car.


By selling your car on SwapMotors.com, you’ll get a fair price based on the car’s value and market appreciation of the vehicle. You can also buy cars in the Swap Marketplace, where we list cars in a similarly fair fashion.


Don’t fall for discounts


Car dealers may promise insane discounts. Don’t believe them. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it absolutely is. Between add-ons, insurance, loans and financing, car dealers will find a way to turn a profit off of you. The best-case scenario would be if a professional evaluated a flat price for the vehicle, like we do at Swap Motors.


Don’t wait until the last minute


If you’re putting yourself in a tight situation where you need to buy a car immediately or your livelihood is at stake, you’re already on the losing end of the deal. Used car dealers can sense your urgency and they won’t budge on prices.


If you’re in a hurry to sell a car, you can list in in the Swap Motors weekly auction and we’ll have a professional evaluate your vehicle, list it for a fair price, and when the bidding begins, you may make more than we initially listed your car for in a live auction. You can get started by registering your car in just minutes.


Luckily, Swap Motors lets you list your car for more money than the auction listings and from your Swap Dashboard you can pick the deal that makes the most sense for you.


If you’re interested in buying a used car, check out our marketplace for the latest listings and vehicles.