So we know that lack of money can be an impediment to pulling the trigger on a car purchase…but can having too much available consumer information actually be the cause of delay, as well? According to a survey recently conducted by AutoTrader, those who are “overwhelmed with choice” can find that to be an obstacle to finally settling on a purchase. According to the survey, which polled 5,000 consumers, 26 percent said they had planned to buy in the last six months, but did not…and of those, the clear majority did not cite lack of funds, but, rather, the time devoted to the research process as the reason for not buying.
As I have said so many times before, the Internet, which has brought so much information and transparency to our fingertips (literally), can be both a blessing and a hassle, at times. Still, I would have to say that, in this case, “too much” information is a good problem to have. Car buying is still far too expensive a proposition to not put in the legwork to be sure you will come out fine on the other end of your transaction. To that end, I want to recommend a solid, easy-to-digest resource that can be a great help to you as you set out to purchase a quality used car…a great ebook called Inspect Before You Buy, written by ASE Certified mechanic Jerry Ellingson.
Beginning with the exterior of the vehicle, Ellingson tells you what to look for, specifically, when evaluating the body and paint, glass and trim, wheels and tires, body panel alignment, and the trunk area. From there, he takes the reader under the hood, through the underbody, and throughout the interior. Finally, Ellingson informs you of what to watch for when taking your prospect for a test drive, from what to listen for when you first start the vehicle, to how to evaluate the handling and drivability, and much, much more. Ellingson also includes a comprehensive checklist as a part of the book (something you will want to print out and take with you, even if you leave the rest of the book home), as well as a list of automotive websites that you may find helpful when looking for a used car, including links to the terrific Edmunds and NADA guides.
Note that Inspect Before You Buy is not a book on auto repair, nor an in-depth manual on cars; it is not intended to be either of those. It is a solid, car-shopping guidepost that can be very useful in helping you to determine if you’re about to make a smart investment…or if you’re about to buy a four-wheeled “money pit.” The price is great, too…$6.95…and even at that, it comes with a money-back guarantee. This could well be the most important money you spend on behalf of your next car purchase…and that includes the dough you drop on the car itself. For more details and to purchase a copy of Inspect Before You Buy, Click Here.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large