Requesting used car price quotes online from your local area car dealerships is the best way to shop and compare prices on pre-owned vehicles.
If you wanted to buy a used car back in the day, you would have to check your local newspaper or drive lot-to-lot looking at a few select vehicles to choose from. The old way of shopping really limited you on what vehicles were available and if you were missing a great deal that was just right next door.
At any given time, there are millions of used vehicles for sale in the United States. Each and every used car is different and should be looked at on an individual basis. Used cars do not have a factory invoice price like a new car and there is no way to tell exactly what a dealer paid for the car.
Used car quote sites have excellent search tools to make it easy for you to cast your net far and wide and then filter down your results to find that perfect used car.
Once you find a used car you like, you can then request a free, no-obligation quote. These used car sites can also be used as powerful negotiating tools.
Benefits of Used Car Price Quote Sites
Other than just making it easy to search millions of used cars, there are several benefits to using online price quote services some of them include:
- They are easy, fast, and best of all - FREE.
- Millions of used and certified pre-owned cars available to select from.
- Shop and compare prices from the privacy and comfort of your home.
- You can check used car prices on as many vehicles as you like.
- No pressure, no hassle, no obligation to buy - truly risk free.
- Use online tools to research the price to see if it's below, average or above market value.
- Research and compare different makes and models.
- Receiving a better price than listed in the advertised.
Why Use an Online Used Car Listing Site?
While searching through used car listings, the price you see in the advertisement is just the dealer's starting offer to get you to contact them.
Dealers understand they must post their used cars online if they want to compete with the dealer next door. They also know you're not only looking at the vehicle they've listed, but several other used cars on their competitors sites as well.
The dealer is forced to be aggressive when pricing the vehicle when you contact them through one of these services. Which means when you receive a price quote from one of these services it's normally pretty good.
Get Local used Car Price Quotes Online
Using online services like CarClearanceDeals, Edmunds and CarsDirect will allow you to define your search to the local area. You can sort used cars available in your local area by year, make, type, price, mileage and even color.
These sites will even let you do side-by-side comparisons. You can even get more detailed in your search parameters by designating fuel type, MPG, engine size, transmission or drive type. Searching this way will decrease your search results dramatically.
Requesting a quote on a used car through one of these companies puts you in direct contact with an Internet manager and cuts out the back and forth haggling you have to go through with a car salesman when you visit a car dealership.
Don't limit yourself to just one service, it's not uncommon to request multiple quotes on the same vehicle through different used car listing sites. Try them all and find out which one works best for you.
Once You Receive Your Free Quotes
Once you've received your quotes, weed through all of them and pick the cream of the crop. If you haven't done so, go ahead and run a vehicle history report on the ones you like. You don't want to waste your time and energy buying a rebuilt car.
Once you've reviewed the title history and you're happy with the results. Your next step is to make sure the prices you've been quoted are fair compared to what other people are paying for the same vehicle in your area.
You will also want to compare your used car price quotes with your estimated cost of what the dealer should have paid for the used car.
Common Used Car Quote Scams
Most dealerships are honest and ethical businesses. There are still many out there that may still try and take advantage of you. These unscrupulous dealers will employ a variety of dishonest methods to make a used car quote appear more appealing that it really is.
The most common scam associated with used car quotes is the misrepresentation of the vehicle in the quote. This is a variation of the "bait and switch scam."
Dealer's are required to disclose certain facts about the vehicle by law even if they make the vehicle less appealing to the customer. An example would be a super clean vehicle that has a junk or salvaged title must be disclosed as having such.
Many times a dealer will wait all the way up to the point of you signing the contract on the vehicle before they disclose a discrepancy such as this.
A dealer may advertise the vehicle for sale and neglect to disclose a branded title. Even though the vehicle has been restored to 100% operating condition, the car will only be worth half of what it should be.
Always ask the dealer specifically about the title status of the car. They may provide you with a history report on the vehicle they have on file.
I recommend you spend the money and acquire a report personally. There have been many instances where a dealer 's staff has fabricated or "doctored" reports in their favor.
You can avoid this scam completely by running your own vehicle title history report by using the VIN from the vehicle.
The Used Car Quote Matches the Same Vehicle
Another scam an unscrupulous dealer may attempt is sending you a quote on a vehicle that's close to the vehicle you inquired about. It may be the same year, make and model, but the trim is not the same. It may be as simple as the mileage being off a bit.
Make sure the vehicle identification number matches the vehicle you inquired about and the quote you received.
Vehicle Disclosure or Fine Print
This is an older car dealer scam but I've received emails that it still happens. A dealer will advertise a price on a used car and in the small print it will say, "Vehicle price is after $2,500 down."
This would be more of the fault of the buyer (they should have read the fine print). This is not a good way to do business and should be illegal, it's not though, just unethical and misleading.
Questions to Ask and Bonus Tips
Additional tips and answers to some olf the questions I receive on how to handle different situations when it comes to requesting used car price quotes.
Questions to Ask When Getting Used Car Quotes
While searching for a used car, prepare yourself with some questions to ask the dealer. These questions will help you make a good buying decision.
- Where did the vehicle came from? You will already know this because of the vehicle history report. However, you'll know right away if the dealer is going to start off your relationship by being dishonest with you.
- Do you have more pictures? Don't be afraid to ask for more, dealers are used to sending more pictures. Blow up the pictures you already have and inspect them. Ask questions about any discrepancies you may see and ask for better, or close up pictures of anything you may want to see more of.
- What is the vehicle's repair history? They may or may not know. Most dealerships that stand behind their pre-owned cars will extensive repair histories on record.
- Does the car come with a warranty? There may be a remainder of the factory warranty or the dealer may offer a small warranty with the sale of the vehicle. Read our extended warranty section before buying a warranty from a car dealership.
- How long have you had you had the vehicle? The longer a used car has been in a dealer's inventory, the more likely they'll be willing to be more flexible on pricing or discount the vehicle to get it off the lot.
- Is that the lowest you can go on price? No matter what price you're quoted always ask this question. Most dealer's like when you play a little hardball. Just because you got a quote doesn't mean there isn't a little bit more wiggle room in the price. Remember, it you don't ask you don't receive.
Dealer Keeps Calling Me
To avoid this all together, if the quote request requires a phone number, use your cell number. Set your phone to silent and let the caller go to voicemail. You can then screen them at a later time.
When listening to the voicemails don't only listen to the offer but also look for professionalism and customer service. You may be dealing with this individual when you buy a car. Also keep in mind, the salesperson might truly need to talk to you about the vehicle you're looking at.
Insider Used Car Buying Tip
From my years of experience as an Internet manager - My job was to follow up with every potential prospect until you tell me to stop.
Respond to my call or email, even if it's to politely tell me that you're not interested, changed your mind, or just virtually kicking tires.
Once you tell me to stop, I'll stop. It's the right thing to do and it's the law. You won't hurt my feelings, I'm a professional car salesman, I deal with rejection every day.
The Dealer Sold the Car and They Didn't Tell Me
I get a lot of email telling me a dealer will tell them a car is available to get them to come to the dealership, sometimes from far away. When they get there, the vehicle is not at that location or they've sold the vehicle a few days before.
Use this tip if you're looking at a vehicle that's far away from your location or you just want to make sure the vehicle is still available before you drive to the dealer.
Have the salesperson write a phrase on a piece of paper such as, "Nice Sled" and the current date.
Ask them to put the paper on the car where you can see the VIN, take a picture and send it to you.
Make sure the VIN is legible in the picture so you know it's the car you're inquiring about. You may also want the salesperson to take a couple extra pictures with the note by the odometer stating the current mileage and on the windshield of the car.
This little trick lets you know the vehicle you're looking at is still on the lot at the time you receive the pictures.
Quotes That Say, "Come on In!"
Some responses from the dealer may say something like "Come on down" or "If you want the best price you'll have to come in."
If you receive an email like this, send the dealer the following response. Feel free to cut and paste:
Thanks for the offer, at this point I don't need to come to your dealership. However, I'm interested in knowing your best drive-out price on the vehicle.
If you'd like me to do business with you, please let me know if the car is still available and what is your best price.
Thank your time and I look forward to your response.
If they don't respond, you most likely don't want to do business with them in the first place. Don't worry and just move on to the next quote.
This is good stuff, Please Share It!