Monday, 10 November 2014

10 steps to take in buying the used car you want. .

The following steps will tell you how to locate, price and negotiate to buy the used car you want. If you don't yet know what car to buy, read "10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You" and then contact Motoring Nigeria after you have decided.

Step 1: How Much Car Can You Afford?
 A general guideline is that your monthly car payment should not be more than 20 percent of your take-home pay. However, people shop for cars with their hearts as well as their heads, and that can be a little dangerous. That's where Motoring Nigeria free consultancy comes in handy. We can prevent you from getting in over your head when you buy a car. Motoring Nigeria helps you find an estimated price range in which to shop and will even suggest some cars that would fit your budget.

Step 2: Build a Target List of Used Imported Cars
 If you are on a low budget and you want to save money, consider buying a second-tier car, from popular, but still reliable manufacturers. Well-known vehicles like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry can cost thousands more than a comparable Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima even though these are good cars. This is where you have to get rid of all stereotypes about particular brands by consulting a professional. For example, I once recomemded a Mazda for a friend who lives in Ondo state and he rejected it, saying some folks told him earlier that it must be bad car because it is not very common in his state, but this "bad car" is very popular and a trusted brand in a city like Ilorin. With this in mind, build a target list of three different cars that meet your needs and fall in your budget. This is where you want to drop your natural greedy human instincts, do not try getting a 2013 Honda Civic with a N1,000,000 budget. This is not what they call awoof deal, if someone agrees to something like this with you, you are about to be scamed.
You could also consider buying a registered or naija used car, however, you have to be very careful with that one so as not to end up with a condemned car which you would end up reselling at a great loss 3 months later.

Step 3: Check Prices and Reviews
 To see if the cars you are looking at fit into your budget, visit online classifieds like and tradestable  if you are in Nigeria or ebay if you are outside our shores and check  the average prices sellers are offering for cars in your area. However, be careful as those websites seem to have been populated with scammers in recent days. When you select a car, you can then search for the car online for you to get all the information you need to make a good buying decision. Check pricing, reviews, specs, fuel economy and lists of standard features.
Step 4: Locate Used Cars for Sale in Your Area
 Begin searching for the cars on your target list using OLX or Tradestable. You can filter the search by factors including distance and price and features to find exactly the car you want. There are, of course, many places to shop for a used car such as independent used car lots, the used car section of a new car dealership, visit the ones around your area in your free time to ask if they have the cars on your target list.  You should also try contacting trusted dealers or sub-dealers you know personally on various social media such as twitter, facebook, BBM and whatsapp, they will be helpful even if they do not have the cars on your target list, they might be able to get it for  you as most of them have vast contacts of other dealers and sub-dealers scattered accross the country.

Step 5: Check the Vehicle History Report
 Before you contact a used-car seller, you should get a vehicle history report for the car you're interested in buying. This is an essential first step: If the report is negative, you should not go any further with this car.
You can access vehicle history reports, which are sold by several different companies, by the vehicle identification number (VIN) and even by license plate. AutoCheck and are the two best-known sources for vehicle history reports. These reports can reveal vital information about the used car, including whether it has a salvage title, which means it has been declared a total loss by the insurance company, or if the odometer has been rolled back. of course, if the car is a registered car in Nigeria, there is a very high chance its history from the time it was imported into the country will not be available.

Step 6: Contact the Seller
 Once you find a good prospective car, call the seller before you go to see the vehicle. This is a good way to establish a relationship with the seller and verify the information in the ad. Sometimes the seller will mention something that wasn't in the ad that might change your decision to buy the car. You will notice that the last question is the asking price. Although many people are tempted to negotiate even before they have seen the car, it's better to wait. Once you see the car, you can tie your offer to its condition level.
If, after talking to the seller, you are still interested in buying the car, set up an appointment for a test-drive. If possible, make this appointment during the daytime so you can see the car in natural lighting and more accurately determine its condition.

Step 7: Test-Drive the Car
 Test-driving a used car not only tells you if this is the right car for you but also if this particular car is in good condition. On the test-drive, simulate the conditions of your normal driving patterns. If you do a lot of highway driving, be sure to take the car up to at least 65 mph. If you regularly go into the mountains, test the car on a steep slope. After the test-drive, ask the owner or dealer if you can see the service records to learn if the car has had the scheduled maintenance performed on time even though this is most times not available. Avoid buying a car that has been in a serious accident or has had major repairs such as transmission rebuilds, valve jobs or engine overhauls.

Step 8: Have the Car Inspected
 If you like the way the car drives, you should have it inspected before you negotiate to buy it. A pre-purchase inspection can save you thousands of naira. You can ask a trusted mechanic to go along with you for a thorough inspection or request a mobile inspection. A private party will probably allow you to do this without much resistance. But at a dealership, it might be more difficult

Step 9: Negotiate Your Best Deal
 Negotiating with a private-party seller can be a quick and fairly relaxed process. Negotiating with a used-car salesman will take longer and can be stressful. Here are some basics about negotiating.
Only enter into negotiations with a salesperson or private-party seller with whom you feel comfortable.
Make an opening offer that is low, but in the ballpark based on your research in Step 3.
Also be careful if the seller is willing to go extremely low, as he might be very desperate to get rid of the vehicle which can as a result of many good/bad reasons.
Decide ahead of time how high you will go and leave when you reach your limit.
Always be prepared to walk out: This is your strongest negotiating tool.
Be patient. Plan to spend an hour negotiating in a dealership, and less time for private parties.
Leave the dealership if you get tired or hungry.
Don't be distracted by dealer pitches for related items such as extended warranties or anti-theft devices.

Step 10: Close the Deal
 If you are at a dealership, you'll conclude the deal in the finance and insurance (F&I) office. If you are buying a car from a private party, you just have to make sure that payment is final and that the seller properly transfers title and registration to you. In any case, it's important to close the deal so you avoid after-sale hassles.
In both cases, you also need to make sure you have insurance for the car you just bought before you drive it away, I repeat, make sure you have insurance for the car you just bought before you drive it away. Also, the F&I person will probably try to sell you a number of additional items: an additional warranty, anti-theft devices, prepaid service plans or fabric protection. Some people want the peace of mind that comes with extended warranties, so this is something you might want to consider (unless your used car is certified or still under the manufacturer's warranty).
When you buy a car from a private party, either pay cash or  through online bank transfer you can provide a cashier's check if accepted. But before money changes hands, request the title and have the seller sign it over to you. Rules governing vehicle registration and licensing vary from state to state. Check the registry's Web site in your state.
Once all of the paperwork is complete, it is finally time to relax and begin enjoying your new purchase: a good used car.

PS: The Nigerian customs do not auction cars in any case/situation, run, I said run if someone tells you he wants to sell a cheap customs auctioned car. It is definitely a scam and you will end up parting away with thousands of naira if not millions.


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