Used cars cost substantially less than a new car. That is the number one reason people buy them. When correctly chosen, used cars offer miles and years of driving pleasure. Incorrectly choose a used car and you're merely purchasing someone else's junk. The wrong used car may do nothing more than breakdown, need repair, and cost a lot of money. Rather than go into the car buying process fearful of the latter, do your research and prepare beforehand. Buying a car may initially seem scary but once you learn what to look for and what to avoid, the task is much easier. When you take the time to do things right, a used car is your ticket to affordable transportation wherever you go. The following tips are among the many ways to take the stress out of the car buying process. Use each of these tips to ensure you drive home a used car that exceeds expectations.
What make and model car do you want to buy? Do you want a car, truck, van, SUV, or crossover? Each offers its own pros and cons. If you're unsure, use the internet to learn more about vehicles in your price range. Consider costs of auto insurance for the vehicle, maintenance, fuel costs, and the features as you conduct research. If you know the make and model you want to buy, skip this step and start with step number two.
Buying a used car at a dealership is the safest option, but usually the most expensive. Private sellers offer more freedom in the purchase and charge less. Private sales also require all of the money upfront. Consider both types of sales and then research the options. Use apps to comparison shop or conduct your own research using your favorite search engine. Do not buy the first used car you find immediately.
The most important tip a used car buyer can remember is to take a test drive before they fork over any money. Buying any vehicle before test driving is a bad idea, especially when it is used. A test drive gives you time to listen, feel, and learn more about the car. If you are not familiar with cars, take someone with you who can identify unusual noises or signs of trouble. This can save a lot of trouble -and expense- later down the line.
Learn if a vehicle history report comes with the vehicle. Many private buyers do not offer this, but dealerships will. If this report does not come with the purchase, it is worth paying for it yourself. Companies like CARFAX provide detailed information about a vehicle's history, including prior accidents, title information, and odometer information. Visit an online vehicle history report provder to purchase a report.
Never browse used car listings before setting a budget for this purchase. Doing so may result in spending more money than you can actually afford for a car based on what you like rather than what you can afford. Sit down and examine the current income and debt to designate a budget that you are comfortable with. Do not forget the costs of car insurance and upkeep when creating the budget and shopping for your used car.