Many people nowadays would opt to buy a pre-owned car because they can get the same convenience with less cost. And this is indeed true. Why buy a brand new one which is more expensive when you can own a used vehicle for a lower price? While this option is practical and budget-friendly, there are also certain risks that come along with it.
So, if you are considering buying a used car, here are some of the most important things that you need to do.
1. Know what you want
Before you take any steps, it is crucial that you identify the kind of car that you want. Ask yourself certain questions like how big or small you want your car to be? How many passengers would you want it to accommodate? Are there certain features that you want it to include? What are you going to use it for? It is imperative that you have a clear idea about what you want and need in a car. It will be easier for you to decide and pick the best one when you start your car shopping.
2. Set your budget
When buying a used car, you need to remember that you are not purchasing a brand new one because you are trying to work on a limited budget. This means that you know how much you can afford and stick to it. Don’t allow anyone to influence you or persuade you to buy a car that exceeds your budget. In addition, when you set a specific budget, you can narrow your search according to the price range. Just make sure you don’t reveal your target price to the dealer and just have it ready in your head. This will give you more power when negotiating. You also need to include other expenses when setting your budget such as the cost of repairs, inspections, etc.
3. Consider all your payment options
If you know that you cannot buy a used car right now with cash, you can think about all the other financing options you can try. You can consider applying for an auto loan through a credit union or look for lenders who can help you finance your car purchase. Make sure that you take your time in checking and comparing rate quotes so that you can select your best option.
4. Inspect the car’s history
When buying a used car, it’s important that you check its detailed history. For instance, you have to find out if it has been involved in an accident before, if it has some tendencies to break down or malfunction, etc. You can request to inspect on the car during daytime so that you can examine the car yourself. You can also request a history report from the dealer. However, if the dealer cannot provide you with this report and won’t allow you to inspect the car, it might be better to just walk away.
5. Have a trusted technician do the inspection
After getting the report on the used car’s history, it will be best if you have your trusted technician conduct his own inspection. This way, you can get an opinion from an expert if the car is worth buying.
6. Do a test drive
This is one of the most critical steps you need to take before purchasing a pre-owned car. You need to make sure that it actually drives and you it can run perfectly fine. The test drive will reveal a lot of facts and issues about the car. Observe the sound and the feel of the car while driving to determine if something does not feel right. Test it under different conditions and situations just to make sure that it works perfectly okay. If you are suspicious about its condition, then don’t go for it. You might just be investing on something that’s not worth your money.