Step 2: Identify Your Target Used Cars
In whatever class of vehicle you are shopping for, whether it is SUVs, pickup trucks or economy cars, there are the leading brands for which you will have to pay a premium price. But if you are willing to consider the competitors, you can save yourself a bundle and still get a reliable car.
Consider building a target list of three different cars. You might want to think of vehicles in the same class. For example, if you really want a Toyota Camry you should also be on the lookout for a Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord or Nissan Altima. These cars were built for the same kinds of buyers, but they have different features and sometimes lower prices.
Select a list of three target used cars to shop for. Using our Used Car Appraiser, note the Edmunds.com True Market Value® (TMV®) prices for each vehicle with the anticipated mileage. Keep in mind that cars typically accumulate about 12,000-15,000 miles per year. Anything over this mileage reduces the value of the car; anything less increases the car's value.
Print out your TMV pages and have them with you whenever you speak to a car seller.
Preview of Part Two: Locate and Test-Drive Your Target Cars
In the second part of this series, we'll discuss steps three and four: how to locate your target used cars and how to test-drive and evaluate them. Then, in the third and final part, we'll show you how to negotiate effectively and close the deal successfully.
Part Two: Locate and Test-Drive Your Target Cars
Part Three: Negotiating and Closing the Deal