When the time comes and you need to buy a used car in Arizona, you will be forced to ask yourself certain questions.
In this article, we will explain the procedure you need to follow to buy a used car in Arizona and also explain the things you need to know to avoid scams.
How to Buy a Used Car in Arizona from Dealerships?
Most often, dealerships are the first place to turn when a person is in search of a good used car to purchase in Arizona. Buying a used car in Arizona from dealerships gives one a variety of options: different models, different trim levels, different years, etc. With dealerships, you can make the best decisions, but you have to be careful of car scams, odometer frauds, and fake VINs.
What is the process of purchasing a used car in Arizona? The steps to follow are:
Researching the Used Car Market in Arizona
If you are reading this article, then it means you are doing something right: “researching.” Before buying a vehicle in Arizona, you should be able to research the used car market in the state. This will give you an overview of the used car types available in Arizona, as well as the features and trim levels available. It will also give you an overview of the price range per vehicle across vehicles, and you will be able to identify which features are most important.
One of the best ways to carry out this research is by visiting online marketplaces such as AutoTrader, Cargurus, and Craigslist. These platforms usually have a large selection of used cars for sale, and you can filter your search results by make, model, year, price range, and other criteria. This can give you a good idea of what types of cars are available and at what price point.
When you are carrying out research, you should understand that the used car market usually has seasonal trends. What does this mean? It means you have to keep an eye out because when we begin to approach the cooler months of the year, sales are usually higher, as most people do not come out to purchase vehicles when it is summer. An increase in demand would cause some major changes in price, so you must be really observant and quick to act when the time comes.
Research the Dealership’s Reviews and Information
You have to be sure you aren’t falling into scams, right? So you must conduct research on the dealership before even visiting. Check the web for reviews of the dealership and go through the ratings.
Do not be too quick on this step; you have to make sure the dealership is a legitimate one. If you’ll be making a purchase from an online listing, then you have to place more importance on this step as it is crucial. If one dealership does not seem quite right, try another.
Consider your Financing Options
This step is another one to be taken seriously. Now that the research phase has been completed, you have to consider your financing options. If you will be requiring loans and funding for the vehicle, then you should get this sorted out before approaching the dealership. It is best if you are ready to pay as soon as you step into the dealership.
This is because if you finally strike a good deal on that perfect vehicle and you intend to pay for it some other day, the next time you come, you may not meet that same vehicle there, and you would have missed out on a great deal.
Understanding Arizona car Buying Laws
Before making that purchase, you have to understand the legal requirements and regulations concerning used car sales in Arizona. Did you know that there is information a seller must disclose before the vehicle is sold? If any piece of information given by the dealer is false, then you should have every right to suspect that the dealer is a fraudster. Some of the information the dealer is required by law to disclose includes the odometer readings, accident and damage histories, service and maintenance histories, and any mechanical issues the vehicle has.
Additionally, all used cars sold in Phoenix must pass a smog check, and the dealer must provide you with a smog certificate. Also, take note of the warranties that the dealer offers. In Arizona, used car dealers are not mandated to provide warranties, but if one is provided, it must be well documented with the terms and conditions clearly stated.
Understanding the Arizona state laws regarding used car sales will help you leave the dealership with a reliable vehicle that meets the emission standards, and you will not need to spend any extra money on repairs in the future.
Checking the Vehicle History Report
Do you want to know if a used car was stolen? Perhaps you would like to uncover the hidden history of a used vehicle. There are three words for you: “Vehicle History Report.” One of the major methods of acquiring a reliable used car in Arizona is by verifying the vehicle’s information with a vehicle history report. A vehicle history report is a document that tells the entire backstory of the vehicle. With a vehicle history report, you get access to accident and damage records, theft records, auction and sales records, service and maintenance records, ownership history, salvage and junk title information, and more.
It is recommended that, before any used car purchase is completed, there be a vehicle history report by the side. With the vehicle history report, you can confirm the details provided by the dealer on the vehicle. This way, you can highlight the red flags and expose the dealer if he’s trying to scam you and sell you a damaged vehicle.
To get a vehicle history report from Vehicles Report, simply navigate to their VIN Check Page, enter the vehicle’s VIN, and gain access to the vehicle history report.
Wondering how to buy a used car in Arizona? Get a vehicle history report. A vehicle history report will also expose you to the lien status of the vehicle, and you can confirm if active liens and loans are still on the vehicle.
Inspection and Test-Driving the Used Car
After selecting the vehicle or vehicles of interest, it’s time to carry out an inspection and test-drive the vehicles to determine the best and most reliable vehicle for you. Carrying out an inspection and taking the vehicle out for a test drive will give you a better idea of the vehicle’s condition and reliability. It will help you make the best decision along the way.
Inspection is best done by a professional mechanic. He will closely examine the exterior and interior conditions. He should also look for any signs of wear and tear, rust, or damage. Usually, signs of rust could mean the vehicle is a flood-damaged vehicle; in this case, look out for water stains as well on the upholstery, seats, and signs of corrosion under the car. Check the tires, brakes, and other mechanical components to make sure they are in good working order.
Make sure you take the car out for a test drive. They say “seeing is believing.” In this case, “driving is believing.”
Price Negotiation and Sale Completion
You must conduct research to get a rough idea of the listing price, as you should remember from the first step. It’s time to start bargaining now. When bargaining, it is recommended that you start at a price that is 15 to 25% less than the asking price. Be ready to negotiate over the price properly and be ready to walk away if the seller won’t agree to your demands.
Registering the Vehicle and Changing Ownership
Now the vehicle is completely in your possession. As soon as the transaction is complete, make sure to register the vehicle and transfer ownership to the Arizona Department of Revenue. Be aware that there are a few actions required and a few documents you must put in place. They are:
Obtain the Title for The Car
Getting the car’s title from the dealer is the first thing to do after making a payment. This title, which serves as the vehicle’s official proof of ownership, must be transferred to the new owner once the transaction is complete. Typically, this paper includes the following details:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- A notice of odometer disclosure (for vehicles less than 10 years old)
- Signature (done after payment).
Complete the Bill of Sale
The bill of sale is not legally required in Arizona (especially for private dealers), but it is considered best practice. A bill of sale serves as documentation of the handover of ownership of vehicles from dealers to buyers. A bill of sale serves as proof that you purchased the vehicle and signed a contract with the dealer, just like you get receipts for transactions you do. This document should include the make, model, year, and VIN of the car, as well as the names and addresses of the buyer and seller.
Pay the Sales Tax
Before a car can be registered in Arizona, a number of conditions must be satisfied. The sales tax is one of them. Sales tax applies to both new and used car purchases. 5.6% of the purchase price must be paid as sales tax and must be submitted to the state.
Register the Vehicle
After acquiring the required documents: the certificate of title, the bill of sale, and the sales tax payment, it is now time to proceed to register the vehicle with the Arizona Department of Revenue. You will need to provide all the available documents as well as proof of insurance.
After these steps, you can get your license plate, update your personal information in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records, and keep your documents in a safe place. Those are the steps needed to buy a used car in Arizona.
How To Buy a Used Car In Arizona: Buying a Car from a Private Seller in Arizona
If you really do not fancy dealerships and would like to buy a used car in Arizona from a private seller, then you can. The steps you would need to take when you are buying a car from a private seller are exactly the same as buying from a dealership. You just have to be extra cautious.
Ask Questions, Investigate, and Confirm Details on the Certificate of Title
The first thing you need to do when it comes to buying a car from a private seller in Arizona is to verify the seller’s information and certificate of title. Research plays a very important role here. Ask around about the dealer and verify the seller’s identity. Is the seller a fraudster? A scammer? Is the seller trying to sell a stolen vehicle? You can ask the neighbors and also search Google.
Next, confirm the name on the certificate of title. If the name on the title matches the seller, proceed to confirm the VIN number, odometer readings, and other information on the title. If the name on the title does not match the name on the seller’s ID and he or she is not in possession of any proof of authorization, then that vehicle must be stolen. Walk away from the deal and notify the authorities if possible.
The other steps to follow are basically the same as buying from a dealership.
- Carry out research to determine the fair market value of the used car
- Consider your financing options
- Understand the Arizona car-buying laws
- Checking the vehicle history report
- Inspection and test-driving the used car
- Price negotiation and sale completion
- Registering the vehicle and Changing Ownership
- Obtain the title for the car
- Complete the bill of sale
- Pay the sales tax
- Obtain your license plate
- Keep your documents safe
With these steps and procedures, you can be sure of buying a reliable vehicle from dealers or private sellers without problems.
Where is the Best Place to Buy a Car in Arizona?
The best place to buy a car in Arizona is at a dealership. At dealerships, you have a wide range of models, brands, trim levels, and interior and exterior features to choose from. It is also unlikely that you would get scammed at a dealership, especially a registered one with a good reputation.
If you are buying a car in Arizona from out of state, make sure you follow the steps explained in this article and carry out good research on the seller before payment is done.