A woman is holding a car key while sitting inside a blue car.

What Do You Need to Know When Buying a Used Car in Cincinnati?

Back in the day buying a used car in Cincinnati was as much fun as selling one: dealerships help you get the vehicle you need, not just the vehicle that they want to sell. It wasn’t about earning for them. It was about making their clients happy even if it meant selling the cheapest car in the lot. Now, it’s like people are forced to buy the cars that make them look good instead of the ones that make them happy because the dealership makes them believe that to get a bigger buck out of it.

But then, the other day, I had a chat with a friend, and the topic above came up. He told me that he had a very pleasant experience while buying his car. According to him, the salesmen and other staff were very polite and patient with him even when he could barely explain the type of car he wanted. Everything about the vehicles he checked out was explained to him in detail. Curious, I asked him how he was able to have this experience when it can be difficult to find a place that will answer your questions and give you a good price. He told me that he looked for a place that had a huge selection of new and used cars, and one that offered him maintenance and repair services throughout the lifespan of his vehicle.

Even more curious, I went on the internet to find a place that would be as accommodating of my needs. And I wasn’t disappointed. I found dealerships that offer a wide range of options from used cars to brand new models: from your everyday cars like the Volt to the awesome Camaro and Corvette. Prices in the area are pretty competitive too. If my friend’s stories are accurate, which they usually are, the affordable prices will just be a bonus because, as he said, “You’ll have a fun time finding your new or used car at a dealership that has a client-centric attitude. Do your research to make sure you find the car of your dreams.”

Know What You Want or Need

A family is looking at a white used car in Cincinnati and talking with a saleswoman.

You’d think that the first step to buying a car is having a specific car in mind. I don’t think that’s a good idea, though. Sure, it is good to know exactly what type or model you prefer or what you think you need, but don’t get too attached to a specific brand or model. Keep your mind open for other possibilities. This will, in turn, give you a wide variety of options when you look around the car dealership lots. Just keep a list (whether written or mentally, doesn’t matter) of the things that you need in a car and a separate list of the ones that you want it to have. Then, prioritize which items in these lists are more important. There’s no such thing as a perfect car. You can’t have all the specs and gizmos you want because it will hardly be possible to find everything you listed in one car. Again, be sure to keep an open mind. Know what you need and what you want, and the rest will be easy.

Know What a Good Dealership Is

Remember, don’t be lazy when looking around. Check out every dealership near you as much as you can. Don’t go shelling out your dough at the first car dealership you walk into. There are a few new and used car dealerships in the Cincinnati area. Check out their websites and visit their shops, too, if you can.

Your next step should be looking for a dealership that has a culture where your interest comes first before their need to sell. Talk to the people and ask about the cars that they offer. If they seem keen to tell you about the cars, then that’s a good sign. If not, if you sense even the slightest annoyance in the actions or voice, walk away immediately. They’re not there to help you find that car that you need or want. They’re just there to sell, and there is a big difference.

Find time to look at other dealerships. It’s always good to have an idea of finding what the price ranges are, and not all dealerships have the same price for the same type of cars. So have the patience and look around the area. You’ll never know when other used car dealerships have the same car with fewer issues under the hood if you don’t go around to look.

Checking Out the Options

A red 2017 Chevy Silverado is parked on a desert highway.

Now that you know what you need and you’ve found a dealership with your best interests in mind, it is time to go through your options. Again, ask questions about the cars you’re interested in so you can narrow down your options. When you’re left to about two or three cars, ask for a test drive. It is the best way to get a feel for the car.

There is a line in the first Transformers movie about choosing the right car that goes, “It is a mythical bond between man and machine,” and that’s somehow true, especially when you first drive the vehicle. If it makes you happy when you’re behind the wheel, then that’s a very good sign. Ask your agent for maintenance records, too. Most dealerships in Cincinnati should have these with used cars. This will help you gauge the state of the vehicle. And if all seems to be in order, it will also give you an idea of the value of the vehicle and help you negotiate a fair price.

The Chosen One

So, you’ve set your eyes on this one used car and are ready to let your money go inside the dealership’s figurative cash register. You’re almost done. But before you make a move, take your time in making a decision, you’ve got everything you need to make the right call. Prices for used cars can have room for discussion, and there are always deals to be found.

Read the contracts and warranties before signing anything. Again, take your time. Your next car should be something you take serious considerations and time with. Give every single aspect of the deal a thought or two before considering it. If you’re at the right dealership, they’d have the patience to help you smooth things over and give you the deal that you deserve.

Driving Your New Car

Now, the last step: driving your car out of the lot. This is one of, if not the best feelings you will ever experience when purchasing used cars. Even if you’ve done it more than once, it will never get old. Driving the new car and knowing that it is finally yours is a feeling you just can’t compare with anything else. But hold on, don’t get too comfortable yet. The first few weeks of driving your “new” used car are the most crucial time for your new baby. Observe it properly. See if everything works and if there are sounds that shouldn’t be there. And if something seems off, bring it back immediately to the dealership to have it looked at. And don’t worry, this doesn’t always mean you’ll need to let go of your sweet new ride. It may just need some minor adjustments, and good dealerships will have a service bay always ready to accommodate your maintenance and repairs. Once everything’s done, and okay, the last thing to do is enjoy your new car!