There are many factors to consider when you’re in the market for a new ride. One of which is whether you want to buy new or pre-owned. Generally, buying a used car is slightly more complicated than buying a new car, so today we’re giving you tips on buying a used car.
It’s obvious that when buying anything, you need to start by determining what you can afford. You would be very disappointed when you find that you can’t afford the car you wanted. The best way to overcome this is to work out a realistic budget and to stick to it! There are many calculators available online, so just do some research.
Next up – building a target list. Deciding on the car make and model is important to aid you in finding the right car. While you might want to go for the better-known brands, you can often save thousands by selecting a brand that is not as known or as popular. With this in mind, create a target list of about three different cars to meet your needs and suit your budget.
To create your target list, check out as many reviews as you can. Also, check the prices to see if the car actually fits into your budget. This is where the Internet is your best friend. Look at fuel consumption/efficiency, features, etc. too.
Once you have your target list, start looking for cars in your area. There are many websites and dealerships where you can find used cars, so just start looking.
Once you find a good prospective car, contact the seller before you go to see the vehicle. By chatting to them, you might get some insight that wasn’t in the ad. Write down a list of questions you want to ask before contacting the seller and make sure to ask them all. If you’re happy with the seller’s answers, set up an appointment to test-drive the car.
Now comes the fun part – the test-drive. This will tell you straight away whether it’s the car for you. When meeting the seller/dealer, be sure to also ask them if you can view the service records. If the car has been in a serious accident or has had major repairs done, it might be better to avoid buying it.
Once you’ve driven the car and would still like to move forward, have the car inspected before negotiating a deal. Many mechanics will be happy to do this for you. A private seller would usually be ok with this, but it might be more difficult convincing a dealership.
Now comes time to negotiate a deal. It’s usually easier doing this with a private seller than with a dealership. If you’re unhappy paying the price they want, walk away.
We hope these tips help you next time you start looking for a used car. Remember that, at the end of the day, a car is a huge expense and you need to be sure that you’d be happy driving it for years to come.