Posted in: Tips
Are you looking into buying a used car? In many ways, driving a pre-owned vehicle makes a lot of sense these days. Late-model cars are extremely reliable and efficient compared to the clunkers of the past, and you can expect a car in good condition to last for many years. Sure, dealing with private sellers and all the associated hassles of buying a used car may not be as fun and freewheeling as driving out of a dealership in a brand-new shiny car, but you know what they say: that car loses most of its resale value as soon as it leaves the lot, and a comparable used car can have many of the same features and options you’d be enjoying in a current year car. To make the used car shopping experience a little easier on you, here are a few tips you can refer to that can help you find the car of your dreams.
1. Figure out what your budget is
You’re going to need to decide how much money you can reasonably afford to spend. Don’t overextend yourself, but keep in mind that investing in a newer car in better condition means less money you’ll have to spend on repairs and maintenance down the road.
2. Choose the right make and model
Are you buying a car for work? For commuting? For your family? For fun? What are the primary reasons you’re going to be driving this car, and where will you be going? These questions can help you determine what type and manufacture will fit your lifestyle the best. One important thing to keep in mind if you have a young family is that you might not be able to safely install a car seat in some trucks and sports cars.
3. Do your research
Online car buyers’ websites can be a great resource for finding reviews, comparative data, videos, specifications, sellers, and other info that can be invaluable for the used car shopper. Make sure you know just how much you should reasonably expect to pay for the car you want to get and verify that it’s a reliable model that has the features and specs you need.
4. Run a background check
It’s easier than ever to get the complete history of any vehicle you’re looking to buy, so make sure you do so. You need to know if it has been in any crashes or if it received any major repairs.
5. Take it for a spin
Before you put money down on any car, take it for a test drive! Make sure it feels right, handles smoothly, and doesn’t make any weird noises. Cars from private sellers aren’t going to come with a warranty, so it’s important to do whatever you can to verify the condition of the car before you buy it.
Once you’ve worked out a price and decided to close the sale, make sure you get all the paperwork for the title transfer in order, and congratulations! You’re the proud owner of the right used car for you!