People nowadays are flocking towards the trend of buying used cars rather than new ones. Mostly because it’s the cheaper option. Yet with such a perk comes a price. The quality and condition of a used vehicle are things that worry most buyers. That is why we’ve put together this list of things, a simple guide to consult before you make any decisions.
Be Clear on What You Want
As with any purchase, you need to know what you want and need in your car when it comes to features, size, gear shifting, color, and such. What are your priorities? Do you need an amazing sound system? Or is the spaciousness of the vehicle more important?
Now, keep in mind that it isn’t about being agonizingly pragmatic or about denying yourself the pleasures of having a car. It’s simply about knowing what’s more necessary, what features you can let go of, and what others you can’t. Not only that, but also what features can be added/fixed later and what cannot. Look at it this way, you can install subwoofers, but you can’t install a bigger trunk.
Set a Budget
After knowing exactly what you want in a car and after having done your research on potential car brands, it is time to set a budget. If you’re opting for a used car, there’s no wonder you’re looking for something cheap. Some would consider that a smart tactic credit-wise, as per MoneyExpert, because it keeps an ideal score without doing much financial damage. It all goes back to the concept of small payments being easier to cover which means a lesser chance of missed payments.
That being said, you need to consider that you’re not buying a brand-new car, which means that you might have to do some repairs. So, whatever amount you allocate for your car, make sure that you either have some extra cash to cover the repairs you need, or set aside some of that car money from the start.
Do a Background Check
It’s important to know if the car you’re eyeing has ever been involved in accidents or anything sketchy before. Needless to say, accidents devalue a car because its structural integrity takes a huge toll, in other words, the car will most likely have sustained serious damages that might cause you trouble in the future.
In addition, the last thing you want is to buy a stolen car. This is why it’s important to save yourself the trouble and conduct a background report. Now, some dealerships might be professional enough to have the papers ready for you, but in case they’re not, you can use an online vehicle history report provider to get a thorough history of the car.
Thoroughly Inspect the Car
So, your car candidate has made it this far, what’s next? A good ol’ inspection. If you happen to know a mechanic, drag them along with you, have them look under the hood, maybe run some quick tests to assess the car’s basic functions.
Plus, you also need to look around just in case there’s anything that you don’t like the look of. Then after all that comes the time for a test drive. That’s when you get to take the car out for a spin and see how it drives, more specifically, listen to the engine, test the quality of the brakes and the suspension system, as well as the other car functions such as the air conditioning system, trunk release and such.
If your car has passed all the previous stages, it’s time to negotiate a price. For some, they won’t bother to go through the process, and that’s entirely up to their priorities. However, if you’re one for negotiating, here are a couple of tips.
Remember that the car you’re buying doesn’t have any set price. It’s quite the opposite, the more damages you find in the car and the less valuable you think it is, the more you can talk your way down to a lower price so, pay attention when inspecting the car and when reading your background check.
Keep all those things in mind and you’re guaranteed a successful purchase of a high-quality used car. We know it’s no comparison to that feeling and look of a new car, but don’t forget that there’s no shame in buying a used car. Just because it is used doesn’t mean it’s a rust bucket on wheels.
So, if you ever feel the urge to go buy a new car just so you could get that look, remind yourself that there are a lot of used cars that look as good as new. Plus, there’s nothing a good car wash can’t fix.