Skip to content

3 Steps To Buying Used Car From A Dealer

Buying a used car from a dealer but unsure? Learn how to buy confidently in 3 steps (number 2 will shock you) so you can find a reliable car at a great price. Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover in this post. Simply click on these quick links to jump straight to different sections.

Here’s A Quick Overview Of What We’ll Cover In This Post

  1. Why buying a used car from a dealership is safer?
  2. What are certified pre owned vehicles?
  3. 3 Step guide to buying a used car from a dealer.

Buying Used Car Private Or Dealer?

Buying used cars from reputable car dealers will usually be a little more expensive than buying from a private sale. The reason is car dealers have to offer and do more for you than a person selling their car privately. Here’s what you usually get:

  • A Statutory Warranty – Depending on the age and kilometres of the vehicle travelled. Dealer statutory warranty protects you from financial loss. If the vehicle happens not to live up to its intended purpose or is worn out and no longer works you have protection.
  • Cooling-Off Period – Most states and territories
  • Guarantee Clear Title – You are not buying a used car with finance owing (encumbrance)
  • Disclose if it’s a statutory or repairable write-off
  • Test-Drive Vehicle – You can drive the vehicle on your usual driving route or even ask the dealer if you can take the vehicle home overnight to see if it fits in your garage.

Even though you mostly pay a little more buying from a car dealer it’s still is the safest way of buying a used car because you also get access to a claim fund if you are out of pocket due to something the motor dealer does wrong. If you’re buying your first car and want to avoid any unnecessary risk this could be the better choice for you.

Another reason people buy from dealers is you get to trade in your old car and they offer products like vehicle finance and vehicle history check. You do have to do your due diligence as to what it is costing you though. Also, those who have a bad credit history can find offers from dealers to obtain finance. Once again you have to be careful that you don’t buy with your emotions meaning you don’t want to overlook the condition of the car for being able to get finance. If you do get approved for finance then you have the opportunity to repair your credit score which will benefit you in the future.

What Are Certified Pre Owned Dealer Vehicles?

Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles is the new buzzword going around in the automotive market place so let’s find out what this all means in simple terms.

Pre Owned Meaning?

A Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle or commonly known as CPO is any vehicle that meets certain criteria. The vehicle usually has to have a:

  • Mechanical Inspection
  • Full Service History
  • Low Age
  • Low Mileage
  • Factory Backed Warranty*
  • Like New Condition

The term Certified Pre-Owned does have its variations so be careful. CPO vehicles are sold at franchised dealers and offer factory extended warranty. *Independent dealers can also use the term Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle but they offer alternative inspections and warranties.

Why Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is the New Buzz Word?

Consumers are now more educated and confident than ever before when it comes to buying and selling second-hand vehicles thanks to online automotive classified sites like With the increase of private sellers and buyers along with car auction houses targeting the general public, car dealers are hurting. So this is why car dealers have needed to reinvent themselves and look to the future so CPO is their best chance.

Why Buy a Dealer Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle?

Car buyers can save thousands by buying a CPO vehicle compared to a new vehicle. Luxury marques were first to create CPO programs but Toyota Pre-Owned Vehicles are becoming more common along with other mainstream manufacturers.

Also, you still get all the benefits that come with a new car without the depreciation hit new cars suffer. Ok, so it’s not new but if it has been well looked after it should still smell like new.

What are the Benefits to Dealers?

The benefit the dealer gets other than a sale is a new customer and multiple opportunities to up-sell. There are multiple products dealers offer like:

  • Finance
  • Aftermarket
  • Protection
  • Warranties

The other benefit that the dealer gets and is considered the most important contrary to what you hear at times is the dealer gets an opportunity to build a strong relationship. This is important for the customer to remain loyal to the dealer and brand because there may be an up-sell opportunity for a new car.

3 Step Guide To Buying A Used Car From A Dealer With Confidence

Buying A Used Car From A Dealer

Many car buyers when buying used or new from a dealer lack confidence. That’s because they can fear car salespeople or dislike car shopping in general. Here we show you how to be in control not be intimidated or get taken for a ride.

Step: 1: Take Responsibility When Buying From a Dealer by Asking These Questions

You see most car buyers wanting or needing to buy a car have what’s called a “vehicle problem”. Meaning they may need a replacement vehicle because the one they have now has worn out or their needs and wants have changed. Whatever the vehicle problem is being honest with your needs, wants and budget is how you can help yourself choose the right car, save time and get the salesperson to help you get the best price.

If you don’t know what your needs and wants are when heading out into the market place you will more than likely just end up exhausted and confused and hate the car buying process or car sales industry. You need to take some of the responsibility in solving your vehicle problem by asking yourself important car-buying questions to find out what exactly you need or want in a car or doing some product research so you can narrow down your list of potential cars to buy.

Step 2: Don’t be a Liar

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Buyers Are Liars” this usually happens when the buyer puts their verbal bumper bar on when walking into a car dealership then tries not to create attention or make eye contact with a salesperson. This happens because you haven’t done step 1.

You see, it is fair to say all car buyers want to buy a car but don’t want to be sold a car but to be fair the salesperson knows you haven’t come to buy a hamburger either. Successful salespeople will help identify your needs and wants by asking the right questions and only then will they try and sell you the right car to suit and go on to solve your vehicle problem.

So, just be honest with your needs and wants because a good salesperson will see you have a vehicle problem and want to solve it!

Video Showing Best Car Salesman in the World

Warning: May offend some viewers

Step 3: Don’t Get Caught Up on the Best Price

Phoning a car dealer to get the best price when car shopping for a new or used car has become more popular due to online car shopping and research but it usually ends at a dead-end making you the buyer very frustrated.

The buyer tends to expect too much like a trade-in price (unseen) for the vehicle they are replacing and let’s be real here, you’re not going to want to commit to buying a car with a deposit if you haven’t seen or taken it for a test drive. For the salesperson to be interested they will want to identify that you are local so they can set an appointment to help you solve your vehicle problem.

The best advice here is, if you’re local don’t waste your time trying to do a deal over the phone. Make an appointment with the dealer and form a relationship because people buy people.

So, if you follow these tips be open and honest with your needs and wants then the salesperson can present a car to solve your problem. This will save you time and as a bonus, you will have formed a great relationship for after-sales service, care and maybe a friend. Also, it is far better to buy a good car at a fair price than a fair car at a good price.