Disclosure: Sponsored post.
Anyone else hate car shopping? Do you worry about if you are getting the best deal for your money and if you are buying the right car for your family? We have purchased several vehicles new and used over the years and we always find ourselves asking these questions.
Last summer, our transmission went out on our 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan on our way to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a family vacation. We found ourselves miles from home with some big decisions to make. (You can read more about our trip here.) We decided not to repair our minivan since the repair costs were more than the vehicle was worth. Luckily the repair shop we visited fixes up vehicles and donates them to needy families each year. They call it "Cars for Christmas". We decided to donate our car and give it new life to bless another family. At Christmas this year we received photos and a letter sharing the story of the family who received our old minivan. It was a good feeling knowing that we were able to help another family.
In the meantime, we rented a vehicle to drive home after vacation and since we owned a second car we were able to get by without a minivan for a while. A friend also loaned us a little truck (thank you Nate!) that my husband drove for a while. This meant we could take our time and do our research. We knew we would eventually need a minivan with baby #4 on the way, but we had a couple of months to make sure we were getting the right car. Since we were looking for a very specific vehicle, a "newer to us" used Honda Odyssey, it did take a little time to find the right car.
We live in a more rural "small town" community so the local selection of used Honda Odysseys was slim. Thanks to the internet, we were able to find minivans, compare prices and read reviews without leaving the comfort of our home. This was a huge help not only because of the travel time involved with car shopping when you live in a rural area, but also because it is hard to take children car shopping. So we did as much research as we could online. A lot has changed since I bought my first car back in 1999!
There is so much information online now. Did you know that you can read reviews and search for the car that you are looking for at Cars.com ? There is even a price comparison tool that helps you compare price and mileage of several similar vehicles from different sellers.
We came home from the hospital with our new baby in our new (used) Honda Odyssey minivan. We literally bought this van the day our son was born. (Cutting it a little close for my comfort, but waiting patiently helped us get a good deal.) We had seen the van a couple of weeks before and my husband had done a little negotiating with the dealership owner (it was a small dealership). We originally saw this minivan online and decided it was worth the hour and a half drive to see it. So the day our son was born, my husband went back to the dealership, took the minivan to a mechanic, did some more negotiating and came home with our new van. Don't be afraid to negotiate. If you are patient and offer a lower price, they just might take it.
4 Tips for Buying a Used Car:
1. Be patient. Take your time and do your research.
2. Research online. It will save you time and money.
3. When buying a used car, always take the car to a mechanic for an inspection before buying.
4. Don't be afraid to negotiate. It could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.