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Free ESL Special Topic English Lesson - Buying a Used Car  

Buying a Used Car

 Listen  When you are ready to buy a used car, you need to do some research as well. In the United States, the price of a used car is tracked by a popular pricing guide called the 'blue book'. The blue book has two values. One, the value of the car. This price is what dealerships and car owners are going to sell the car for. And Two, the trade in value of the car. This is the price that a dealership will pay you for the car if you want to sell it to them.

 Listen  As an example, my Mitsubishi eclipse had a blue book value of $16,000. The trade in value of it was $12,500. That means if I try to sell it myself, then I could possibly get $15,000 for it. But if I didn't want to deal with it, I could sell it to the dealership for $12,500.

 Listen  So when you want to buy a car, find out what the blue book says on both the real value and the trade in value of the car. Knowing both prices will help you get the best deal.

 Listen  Buying a used car from a dealership is also good. Since you know how much they paid, you can offer them a little more and they should be willing to sell you the car. For example, you would be able to get a used Eclipse with a trade in value of $12,500 for about $13,000. If you buy from someone else, they will most likely ask for $14,000.

 Listen  In the same way we talked about ignoring the price tag when you buy a new car, ignore the price tag when you buy a used car from a dealership. The price might say $17,000, but if you know the trade in value is $12,500, you would know to only offer $13,000. If you persist, you will eventually win. Keep in mind that it might take 5 to 6 hours. But if I knew I could save $3,000 for 5 to 6 hours of work, I would do it all the time.

 Listen  Likewise, when you are ready to sell a used car, keep in mind the two prices. Find what other people are selling the same type of car for and put a sale price a little under the others. Looking in the local classifieds will be a safe place to look for other prices.

 Listen  Finally, some cars retain their value more than others. For example, an Eclipse loses its value quickly while a Honda Accord keeps its value well. So if you are in the market to buy a Jetta, Camry, Civic, or an Accord, you might not be able to get close to the trade in price. But if you buy a car that doesn't retain its value well, then paying the trade in price is the best way to go.
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