There are many advantages of buying a used car, with cost savings being one of the most important reasons. However, buying a used car can be more time consuming and challenging compared to getting a new car.
It is not just the choice of the car that you have to make; you will also have to consider many other factors before you decide which the best-used car is for you. Here you will be taken through a step by step process on how to buy a used car.
Determine Your Budget
The most important reason why people choose used cars is that they are more affordable than new ones. However, this doesn’t mean that you can buy all brands and models of used vehicles. So consider how much you can afford before you even start looking at the different brands and models.
Many the people will consider financing their used car. If you are also going to do so, make sure that your vehicle’s payment is not more than 20% of your overall monthly income. Keep in mind that used cars will need more maintenance over time compared to new ones. You will have to maintain the cost of ownership in mind when applying for a car finance.
Determine the Best Car Model
Everyone has a favorite car model. However, your favorite car model may not be the best car model for you and your family. The most important factor to consider is whether the car you choose will serve your needs or not.
Start with a clear understanding of what you want from the model. Consider the following points when evaluating this:
- What do you want? A car that is cheap to run and maintain or a sports car. Do you need lots of room for your family?
- Will you be using the car for short rides within the city or longer motorway trips? Do you need a car with a more powerful engine that can cruise at high speeds or a car with a small and more efficient engine can suffice?
- Do you need a car for some particular purpose? It may even include towing your trailer.
- Consider the kind of fuel that the car should be using? Are you looking for an eco-friendly car? There are electric and other options that cost more initially but save you money in the long term.
- Should the car have more boot space? Do you need to fit specialized equipment such as pushchair or your sports equipment?
Consider all these factors when determining the right used the car for yourself.
Arrange for Financing
Once you have determined the budget and the car model, you will know how much you can pay as a down payment. Contact traditional banks, online banks, and credit unions to get offers. Dealer finance may be easy to acquire, but it can be costly. It should be an option only if other sources seem to be expensive.
Research the Dealer
You can buy used cars directly from the owner or a trader. When checking cars from dealers, do some research on the dealer to learn about their reputation. Check there car inventory size. You don’t want to deal with someone who has a small stock or refurbishes broken or defective vehicles. It could mean that you are buying yourself the trouble. Check their license and get feedbacks from their previous customers.
Check Vehicle History
Once you have determined the car model and the seller, check the vehicle’s history. Start by checking the vendor’s name and address and make sure it matches with the details of the car’s owner. Look at the vehicle registration form to check this.
When buying from a dealer, get the information about the seller. It is important because you don’t want to purchase a car that is stolen or has used in some criminal activity. Some of the other details that should check against the registration form include the following:
- License plate
- Make and model
- Year of manufacture
- Car’s color
A test drive is an obvious step to follow before you select a used car. Drive it to determine how it feels. Does the car match what you expect from it?
Get the Car Inspected by Your Mechanic
It is a major step before choosing a used car. Even if you are fully satisfied with the test drive and other factors, never buy a used car without getting it inspected by a mechanic. Make sure that you hire the technician so that he will be favorable to your concerns. They can inform you about any potential problems that you may not be able to determine yourself. A good dealer or direct seller shouldn’t have any difficulty allowing you to get the car inspected by a mechanic. If it is a certified car, the car will already have warranty and inspection report.
Buying from a Dealer vs Car Owner
Usually, it costs more when you buy a used car from a dealer than from an owner. However, it comes with additional protection. A good dealer will have a section of certified vehicles, and they can also offer warranties on such vehicles. Most dealers also replace faulty parts before selling the car. Dealers have a business reputation to maintain, and they are more likely to be responsive to complaints if any.
So consider all these steps and points when buying a used car. Once you follow all these steps diligently, you are most likely purchase a car that doesn’t give you any trouble. Even if you face any issues, you will have some leverage for a solution from the seller. As someone buying a used car, your goal shouldn’t just be to buy something affordable but also something that doesn’t give you any troubles in the long-term. So make sure to follow these steps.
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