By ABC News
The Smiths of Atlanta have a full house, four young children going in four different directions and just one car to get them where they need to go.
Maria Smith, a stay-at-home mother, said the family’s car – a 2006 Honda Odyssey – had 160,000 miles on the odometer.
“We drive everywhere,” she told ABC News. “We travel a lot.”
She and husband Cedric Smith, an IT specialist, said they were in the market for a safe, used car but did not want to be taken for a spin.
“Buying a car was one of the most stressful experiences ever,” she said. “I mean, honestly, I’ve been putting it off for a long time because I just, I hate the idea of it.”
Tricia Whitlock of the popular tech blog Hypepotamus said consumers could put the brakes on car-buying stress by following her simple tips.
1. Find out what others are paying for the exact same car, new or used, with apps like True Car, and use the information to negotiate at the dealership.
2. Know when to buy. Good times are the end of the month or the end of the year. And avoid Saturdays.
“You’re much better going in the middle of the month, picking a car that’s right for you and then going back at the end of the month when those sales guys are going to be hitting their quotas,” Whitlock said.
3. Buy online. If you want to avoid the middleman when buying a used car, and save thousands of dollars, consider purchasing a car at an online dealership like Carvana. Carvana does a 150-point inspection on its used cars so there are no surprises for the consumers.