3955 St. Augustine Rd Jacksonville , FL 32207 904-574-9200

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11 Do's and Dont's of Buying a Used Car in Jax Fl


Without further ado, here’s the blueprint you’ve been waiting for. 10 do’s and don'ts of buying a used car in Jacksonville, FL.


Everybody knows that buying a car these days is tough.  Car shopping day is not going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine. Bring your anti anxiety remedy of choice, because you will surely face a fair deal of stress and anxiety.  It DOESN’T have to be this way though.  Buying a car is like going to the dentist, you know it’s going to be painful. Sometimes you wish you could just pass out and take a nap to make it go away. 


What if there was a way to take care of your teeth from the very beginning and you never had to go to the dentist in the first place.  If you had a car buying road map from the very beginning, you’d never have to struggle through the car buying process again.


For the easy car buying roadmap just follow these easy steps:

 

#1: Don’t leave your house until you’ve done extensive research

It might be tempting to just get in your car & drive around to a few different lots, but that’s usually not the best idea.  He who fails to prepare is preparing to fail.  The more prepared you are, the better your chances are of getting a good deal on a car you love! The good news is that it’s 2018, and the internet gives smart shoppers a huge advantage in the marketplace.  Check out cargurus, cars.com, autotrader to look at inventory and find the best deals.  Head to kbb.com or edmunds.com to find independent reviews of all the types of vehicles you’re interested in. 

 

#2: Don’t buy a car without looking at the carfax and past service history

Checking out the carfax can be one of the most important things you do before signing on the dotted line.  The carfax will give the most accurate detail of how the vehicle has been maintained, and to make sure the vehicle hasn’t been in an accident.  You’re going to want to pay attention to the number of previous owners and see how each of these owners took care of the vehicle while it was in their possession.  You never know if one owner took great care of the car but the next owner didn’t take as good of care.  You can also look at the existing warranty information to see if the vehicle is still under manufacturer warranty.

 

#3: Do your finance homework

Before filling out any dealership credit apps, you need to know where you stand with your personal credit and how you will be viewed by a bank or finance company.  You can get a good start by visiting creditkarma.com. This will give you a pretty good idea of where your credit stands and what you should expect when the dealership hits you with an interest rate.  You should also know that one of the most important factors to getting financed is your disposable income.  A bank is going to take a close look at your monthly income and how much you have left over after paying rent and other expenses.  This is going to determine what kind of monthly payment you can get approved for & how expensive of a vehicle you can get.

 

#4: Do a thorough inspection of the vehicle. If you can, get it inspected by a certified mechanic

This one might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t perform a bullet-proof inspection before they drive off with the car for good.  After a day of car shopping; your tired, your feet hurt, you just want to pick out a car and get out of there.  That’s how mistakes happen. You want to make sure that you are absolutely satisfied with the vehicle.  That means you should drive it on the highway, check the tires, check the alignment, check service lights on the dashboard, check for rust, check for spare tire, make sure the A/C and windows work properly.  It is also highly recommended that you take the car to an independent certified mechanic. They will be able to test the car using a professional mechanic computer, and let you know if there are any issues with the working parts under the hood.

 

#5: Work the math before you sign on the dotted line

When you have a big stack of paperwork sitting in front of you - it can be tempting to sign wherever they tell you and get it over with, but you are going to want to take an extra close look at the bill of sale and the bank contract.  These two documents are going to tell you exactly where you are going to have to come out of pocket for the lifetime of the loan.  Be sure to calculate finance charges over time, so you know exactly what you are paying for the car including interest.  Make sure you are comfortable with that level of interest over time, as well as accounting for your monthly budget to make sure your car payment and insurance will be paid with no problem. 

 

#6: Don’t be afraid to get what you want in a car deal

Don’t forget that it’s a car DEAL: a mutual transaction that both parties have agreed to.  You have to know what you are bringing to the table as a paying customer and know how valuable your business is to a dealership.  When it comes down to negotiating and haggling, a salesperson will usually have the advantage because they do it for a living.  They’ve got tricks, they’ve got tactics, and they are going to do whatever they can to get paid that week.  The best thing you can do is stand up for yourself.  Stand up for what you want.  Tell them up front what you’re going to go for and what you will not accept.  They will most likely appreciate this honesty and work harder for you. 

 

 

#7: Don’t be unreasonable and understand the dealerships POV

This might sound like a contradiction to the last tip, but there’s a fine line between being fair and being unreasonable.  When it comes time to negotiate, you have to know whether you are fighting a losing battle or not.  Take a look at the book value of the car.  Your offer should not fall too far below NADA retail, or you’ve crossed over into the unreasonable customer zone.  You can’t expect a dealership to lose money selling you a car.  Often times, the dealership has their hands tied.  Maybe the bank has approved you for a certain amount, and there’s nothing the dealership can do.  This especially true if your credit doesn’t give any legs to stand on.

 

#8: Be patient

“Who has time to be patient these days, let’s just pick out a car and get this over with!”  Bad idea.  Buying a car is one of the biggest investments you make, behind buying a home.  It’s not something to be rushed.  You want to do extra careful research, making sure you’ve selected the right car/s you want and the dealerships you’re going to visit.  Take your time when discussing your credit and the financing terms, not only to save money but also so that you ensure you’re making this decision with building your credit in mind.  We all know somebody who has had a nightmare car buying experience, DON’T LET THIS BE YOU.  Take your time, know all your options and you’ll be fine. 

 

#9: Know the differences between independent lot and a franchise store.

Not every dealership is the same.  A franchise store is obviously going to sell brand new cars as well as used.  They usually have a full service shop, fancy attractive buildings and many other amenities, like a coffee bar in the dealership.  While it might be convenient to get a taste of your favorite caramel macchiato while your signing paperwork, it might also be affecting your bottom line.  The expensive buildings and professional sales teams cost money, and that's often why you’ll usually pay more money for the same used car at an independent lot.  Independent car lots are usually going to have a smaller selection of inventory.  While many independent lots are very professional, many of them are not going to be able to offer as many professional features and benefits. This includes: banks they work with, gap/warranty options, manufacturer backed servicing; be sure to check out the google reviews before you step foot onto any dealership.

 

#10: Don’t think you’re all done after you drive off

The world of automotive finance can get very complicated. After driving off with your car, there is a period of time where the deal still needs to be verified by the bank, which could be across the country.  Things happens.  Things get delayed. Banks change their policies.  Dealers mess up an application.  Stipulations don’t meet the requirements.  Often times, there are obligations you need to fulfill after you drive off.  This might include: customer interviews, interviews with your employer, obtaining proof of residence or proof of income, providing references.  By cooperating with the dealership and/or bank’s obligations, you are ensuring that your loan will be kept valid during the 1 to 4 week period the bank has to complete your deal.  That’s how you avoid a car buying nightmare like this one: You get financed for a car based on your 1 year job time.  The bank is counting on your stability of income (keeping that job) so that you can make your payments.  Let’s say you quit your job the day after you bought the car.  The bank is going to follow up your employer at some time during the 1 to 4 weeks after you bought the car.  Once they find out that you quit your job, the deal will most likely be canceled.  The dealership will have to repossess your car and you might lose your down payment.  Make sure you are careful and cooperative with anything the dealer and/or bank ask of you, because you DON’T want those kind of problems. So do yourself a favor, if you’re itching to switch employers, just wait it out about 30 days more to ensure that the deal gets completed.

 

#11: Do come to Dream Wheels and purchase a car

We are an independent lot that offers the best of both worlds.  We usually have a huge selection of like-new inventory.  We keep our expenses rock bottom low, so that we can save our customers money. We always keep our sales process honest and respectable. We have access to the same banking options as the big dealers as well as many options for challenged credit customers. 


Call or text us at: 904-990-4029!





 


11 Reasons Why Dream Wheels is Truly Different

 


www.dreamwheelsjax.com

Here’s the truth about Dream Wheels, we may or may not have gotten a big head from our happy customers. We like to think we’re pretty special cause we do a good job. But don’t take our word for it, just listen to our customers.

 

We hear it all the time after we sell a car: 

“You guys are different.”

“Dream Wheels knows what they’re doing.”

“This was the easiest time I’ve ever had buying a car.” 

 

We finally wanted to tell the world what exactly makes Dream Wheels so different from every other used car dealership or pre owned car lot out there in Jacksonville, Fl.

1. The Dream Wheels Employees make it fun to buy a car

Selling cars is supposed to be serious business, but we like to HAVE FUN AT WORK.  The Dream Wheels family can’t stand the boring, sleazy sales process you find at most dealerships.  That’s why we keep it light and fun every step of the way.  When you come to Dream Wheels, you might want to request Kyle as your salesperson.  He doesn’t really know too much about cars, but he’ll make you pee your pants during a test drive.  Buying a car doesn’t have to be so SERIOUS.  We like to work hard and play harder. 

 

2. The Dream Wheels Culture is awesome

There’s something different in the air at Dream Wheels.  If we could summarize Dream Wheels in one word: INTEGRITY.  Integrity is in the air. Have you ever been around a salesperson and felt uncomfortable? That’s usually because they are being nice and friendly on the surface, but all they are thinking about is how much money you can bring them on their weekly paycheck. Our team perseveres and believes in the client experience, and that starts by having empathy and actually caring about our customer’s success with our inventory and services.

 

3. Our inventory just rocks

One of the most important characteristics of any dealership is the type of inventory selection they carry.  Does your local dealership carry inventory so that they can make the most money? or do they carry inventory to make their customers happy? Many dealers only shop for vehicles with bad carfaxes, salvage titles, or malfunctions because those cars are cheaper to buy, and allow a higher dealer profit margins. What kind of cars does Dream Wheels carry? We like to carry “like-new” vehicles ONLY.  These are cars, trucks or suv’s that are in amazing shape, but don’t come with the high cost of a brand new vehicle.  It’s hard to feel good about buying a new car these days because it’s going to depreciate the second you drive it off the lot.  Dream Wheels only carries cars that are going to “wow” our customers. We like to carry cars on our lot that are spotless from inside-out, that have been factory maintained, and possess a clean carfax. That’s why truthfully, you won’t find a single car on the lot that isn’t impressive. 

 

4. The banks and finance companies we work with are legit

There are thousands of banks and finance companies that work with dealerships on the back end to finance their customers.  The selection of banks that a particular dealership can offer a customer is very important.  It could mean the difference between being approved and being disapproved. It could mean the difference between a 21.99% interest rate and a 7.99% interest rate, which could save you thousands of dollars over time.  If you’ve ever wondered why financing a car at a new car dealership is so different than financing at most smaller car lots, its usually because of the bank selection.  Most smaller car lots only carry a small collection of banks in their rolodex, and these banks are usually only geared towards bad credit financing.  This is a disadvantage for anyone who doesn’t have terrible credit, because the dealership will not have any higher tier bank options and won’t be able to get you a lower interest rate. 


Most larger, new car dealerships only offer a slim selection of banks as well, but from the other side of the credit spectrum. Big dealership bank selections are usually geared toward good credit customers and only for brand new cars or more expensive cars. That’s why so many challenged credit customers are given the cold shoulder by these large dealerships.  Here’s the good news: Dream Wheels carries the WHOLE SPECTRUM of banks, from good credit, ok credit, to terrible credit.  This means we have more tools in the bag, so that no matter what a particular customer is bringing to the table, we are more likely to offer them a great deal and save them money on interest.  We can sell a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder at 4.29% interest rate. We can get a 500 credit score done on an 08 BMW 3 series with a low down payment!

 

5. We ultimately care about your experience with us

The reason there is such a stigma about the “sleezy” used car salesman is because so many car guys and car gals out there are in fact “sleezy.”  You can tell when someone truly has your best intention in mind, or whether they are just looking to make money off of you.  Unfortunately there are thousands of dealerships across the country that fail to put the customer first.  Here at Dream Wheels, integrity is a part of everything we do.  Our first priority is making sure the customer is happy and that they’ve had a good experience.  We would rather have a little less money in our bank account, but be able to SLEEP AT NIGHT.  And don’t take our word for it, check out our google reviews.  Our customers love us and we love our customers back :)

 

6. We care about your credit health

It just seems like common sense to us, if a customer is going to spend their hard earned money with you, you might as well keep their long term credit in mind.  We hear horror stories everyday about bad dealership who do bad business, and their customers end up losing in the end.

Credit nightmares that dealers might try to do to you include:

1.  Running your credit to many different banks (which docks your score considerably)

2.  Signing you up at an incredibly high interest rate, costing you thousands

3.  Selling you a bogus car that will break down and become a repo on your credit. 

 

We want to be clear: Dream Wheels DOESN’T PLAY ANY GAMES with your credit. Our finance team is very experienced, and would never make the rookie mistake of running your credit to way too many different banks excessively and unnecessarily. We always work hard to shop the lowest interest rate for our customers. We only sell cars that our customers will love, and that will serve them for a long time.

 

7. We keep our expenses LOW for real

There are a few perks to shopping at new car dealerships. The fancy buildings, the nice art-work on the walls, you can even sip on a fresh caramel macchiato while you’re waiting on paperwork.  The downside is that you’re going to end up paying more for your car.  Those high overhead costs that big dealerships fork over every month, usually end up getting shoved right onto the customer, and end up paying really high dealer fees!

At Dream Wheels, we are obsessed with keeping our overhead expenses ROCK-BOTTOM low, so that we can save our customers money.  You won’t find any fancy artwork or ridiculously high dealer fees at Dream Wheels. You won’t get a freshly made latte or green tea, but you will get to save money when buying your car.

 

8. We don’t keep our customers here all day long

A common complaint we hear about other car dealerships is how long it takes to complete a car deal.  Big dealerships are run like a large corporation.  Each detail of your deal has to be approved by every ring of the ladder before it’s finalized.  You have to speak to manager after manager after manager and it takes 5 hours before you get to go home.  At Dream Wheels, we keep our process AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE.  We don’t like wasting our customer’s time, and we don’t have 5 levels of management to go through before we can send you on your way with a new car.  It’s simply the right way to do business.  That’s why almost everyone of our customers tells us in one way or another “Wow, that was easy!”

 

9. We don’t let annoying salespeople work here

We have to be honest, annoying salespeople annoy us too!  We are very strict about the types of personalities that we let represent our business and brand.  We take our customer’s experience very seriously, and the least we can do is NOT hire someone like Rick! (see video above).  As hard as they try to get jobs at Dream Wheels, we make sure every member of our sales staff is nice, personable and operates through integrity and empathy just like we do. 

 

10. We are a NO-PRESSURE Dealership

What is a no-pressure dealership? It’s a dealership that doesn’t force anything on their customers.  When you come to Dream Wheels, you won’t feel the same pressure from our sales staff that you do from other dealerships.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but we truly don’t care whether you buy a car or not. So no pressure! We will ASSIST our customers when we need to, but ultimately we leave all the decision making 100% up to you. You’re welcome!

 

11. How we help bad credit customers

There are many dealerships that will give a customer the cold shoulder once they find out their credit score is below a 600.  Sometimes the worst part is how that makes you feel as a person, your self-esteem and you question your worth, and if you’ve ever been denied by a dealership, you know how embarrassing it can be.  At Dream Wheels, we are in a unique position to be able to help challenged credit customers get approved and would never make our customers feel that way. We help them save money and build their credit back up instead.  Many of the cars we carry are geared to helping challenged credit customers get approved.  Many of the banks we work with allow very flexible financing options so that you can BUILD YOUR CREDIT BACK UP. 


The main thing we are proud of is how we treat a challenged credit customer.  We see more than just a credit score, we see a real person with real challenges, and real feelings who needs a real car.  We can’t help everyone, but we do everything we can to help someone who is in a rough spot or tough situation turn a new corner.  And we don’t just talk the talk, we have the resources (inventory and banks) to do it!

 

 

 


Our Reviews

Kirk Lawler - 2014 Ford F150

After my BMW expired.., looking for a replacement vehicle was becoming a nightmare. We drove hundreds of miles looking at vehicles that looked good in pictures..., only to find out upon personal inspection.., they were mostly "junk". NOT the case with the vehicles that we found on the Dream Wheels web site. The inventory is top notch. What we saw in the on-line pictures were even better when we saw the vehicle in person. The sales manager .."Omar" and the salesman "Dillon" were personable and very straight forward. We drove the vehicle, expressed our concerns about a few minor things that needed some attention, and within 15 minutes after the test drive we bought the vehicle. Omar and his staff are great and much more warm, attentive, courteous, and inviting than any Big dealership that I have ever worked with. Keep up the good work. I will recommend you guys to anyone who asks me "where do I find a nice vehicle with a reliable dealer".

Jonathan Farmer - 2016 Toyota Camry

I rarely post reviews, but I felt I owed it to Dream Wheels to do so after receiving such great customer service when I recently purchased a car from them. I wasn't looking forward to going through the process of buying a used car, but they were able to make the entire process a smooth one. Great environment, large selection to choose from, friendly and knowledgeable staff. I highly recommend Dream Wheels the next time you want to make buying a quality used car a positive and enjoyable experience.

Forrest Davis - 2016 Nissan Rogue

After dealing with some of the most rude and unprofessional dealers, I went to Dream Wheels after seeing a great online price. I test drove a few because they had a few on their lot that I was interested in. Ben, Mark, Kyle, and the rest of the staff were unbelievable. Very patient with me, answered all the questions I had. I have to say the stress of buying a car was pretty much non-existent. I wasn't pressured at all and it was a very smooth and pleasant experience!

Alex Kinter - 2009 Honda CR-V

Wonderful service and Authentic! These guys are not only super awesome and funny, but very honest.

Directions

Dream Wheels, 3955 St. Augustine Rd, Jacksonville , FL 32207 904-574-9200