A mommy’s guide to dealing with used car dealers

I have a friend that lives in Green Bay, and she decided that her car wasn’t big enough forwisconsin-used-cars her growing family anymore.  Honestly, the whole process of car shopping for her was enough to make her cry.  So I decided to write this blog post and dedicate it to her.

If you live in Wisconsin, used car tips for buyers can be extremely beneficial before hitting the dealership. There are a lot of good reasons for purchasing a used vehicle – it’s cheaper, the insurance is often lower, you can still take advantage of some factory warranties, and you may just find an incredible bargain. But a good deal doesn’t mean you should immediately jump into a purchase. You will need to rely on your vehicle to get you through the Wisconsin winters, so you should take a careful and thoughtful approach to car buying.



Modern resources give us more opportunities than ever to fully research Wisconsin used cars before we make a final decision. We can find out from other buyers whether or not they were treated well by the dealership. We can look at reviews for that particular make and model and see if the majority of people are having a good experience. There are also tools that allow you to look up a vehicles market value and trace its entire history. Don’t ignore these resources. Put them to good use and go to the dealership armed with your research.


Test Drive

Once you are backed by solid information, you’ll be ready to go into the dealership and get your hands on some cars. No matter what the history says or the customer ratings indicate, you won’t really know how a specific vehicle performs until you get behind the wheel. When you do get there, you need to be methodical about it and do more than just take it for a quick spin around the block.

Check out the acceleration from a dead stop as well as its ability to speed up while already in motion. You need to make sure the engine and transmission are still capable of providing some get-up-and-go and still shift smoothly into lower gears so you can efficiently pass vehicles at higher speeds.

Make sure you note all the blind spots of the vehicle and see how well the suspension handles the cornering. You need to feel confident and comfortable in your vehicle because you never know what you might encounter on Wisconsin roads.

Finally, take some time to fiddle with all the buttons and dials on the dashboard or doors. Nothing is worse than going through all the effort of test driving and purchasing a car just to find out that the passenger-side power window has a short in it.



A lot of people fear the negotiation process – and for good reason.  Most dealers have a lot of experience negotiating, while most average people have only seen it done on TV and have never had any real practice. However, this is the final step before your used car finally becomes yours, so it has to be done.

If you have done your research, and made notes from your test drive, you should have enough information to hold your own in the negotiations. Even so, you should only try to negotiate with a salesperson with whom you feel comfortable, and always decide before you go in exactly what you will be willing to pay. If they can’t meet that price, be ready to walk away. This is the most powerful tool in your negotiation arsenal, so don’t forget about it.

Once you are able to reach an agreement on price, don’t let them talk you into all the “additional features” that the dealership may offer. When you get a bargain on your vehicle, make sure you leave the lot before they have a chance to get a little more out of you.


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