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Used Cars Los Angeles - Shopping Used Cars in Los Angeles

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The used car market in Los Angeles is a thriving business, and every day, thousands of Angelinos buy a new used car. Some of them walk away from that purchase with an amazing deal in hand. However, most of them pay far too much because they were sucked in by the marketing or an aggressive sales pitch. So how should a person approach the process of buying a used car in Los Angeles so that they maximize their budget?

They should start by knowing their options. Of course, there is Cerritos Auto Square, which is the largest used car dealership in Los Angeles but also one of the largest and most famous auto squares in the entire world. Cerritos has plenty of competition in the hundreds of local dealerships, and in recent years, the national chains have built a strong presence. CarMax alone has nearly ten locations in the immediate Los Angeles area.

The next step is proper mindset. Be prepared for the process. Be prepared to take the time necessary to find the best deal. Use the Internet as much as possible. Tackling Los Angeles used car shopping on foot or by car can be slow and a real chore. Secondly, understand that the used car industry in Los Angeles is a huge, competitive market. This benefits you, the consumer. Know this, and leverage that knowledge to achieve the best possible deal. Easier said than done, you say? Keep reading, and let us show you the way.

Knowledge is king. Los Angeles consumers can put themselves in the best possible position by targeting a specific car or a specific class of cars. This way they focus all of their research on the same cars, and by the end of the process, they will be an expert of sorts on that particular car. Avoid the Los Angeles area’s most popular cars. For instance, Accords are even more popular in LA than elsewhere. There will be a premium because of that. Be familiar with the Kelley Blue Book values, which of all resources tends to reflect West Coast prices the best.

Then, compare those prices to the Black Book prices. The Black Book approximates what a dealer will pay at auction. In addition, keep in mind that the dealer will often pay far less on cars purchased directly on their lot. This comparison will give the buyer a fair assessment of how much wiggle room there is. Of course, additional factors offset dealer profit such as cost of repairs, many of which will be too minor to make it onto the books with the popular car reporting agencies.

Speaking of those reporting agencies, make use of them. They are an invaluable resource. Keep in mind that there are still tens of thousands of totaled and flooded cars from the areas affected by Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina on the market. Consumers who believe that none of those used cars has reached the Los Angeles area are fooling themselves. The reporting agencies are not full proof, so it is best to rely on more than one. Consumers can do this online through many subscription services that will give them month-long access to several agencies for one low fee.

Up until now, we have mentioned buying through Los Angeles dealerships. We would be remiss not to mention the area’s many private sellers. In many cases, the private sellers offer the best prices on used cars in the Los Angeles area because they want to move the vehicle quickly. Many people avoid private dealers because it used to be that it was difficult to get a loan through the local banks. However, the Internet has changed all of that, and either locally or online, it is possible to get competitive car loans on used cars purchased privately.

Once the consumer has targeted a model and has determined the acceptable price, go find the car. When you do, reevaluate the price based on the new specifics. At this point, is it still a viable option for you? Many people have “sophisticated” haggling plans, or they try to pull shady stunts such as agreeing to one price and showing up with a check for less. We have found that a more direct and honest approach works best. Explain to the dealer the research you have done, what you have learned, and why you have settled on the price that you have to come to. Unless you have made error, the dealership will often give it to you at that price right then.

If they do not, listen to their reply. Are there mitigating factors of which you were not aware? How does this affect the price you are willing to pay? Try again. If both the salesperson and the prospective buyer are being realistic and fair, they can often come to an agreeable price in a very short amount of time. However, if at any point the customer feels the salesperson is unreasonable in anyway, they should not spin their proverbial wheels. Just walk away and look elsewhere. There are plenty of other options in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

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