Besides your home, a car may be the most expensive thing you ever spend money on. Indeed, having your own ride offers several advantages, but do you really need a brand new vehicle?
A lot of people are under the impression that used cars aren’t an excellent choice when looking for good quality vehicles, but this is a misconception. Second-hand cars does not necessarily mean 15 or 20-year-old cars. They can be slightly used vehicles that are only one year or two years old. If you have considered buying a car, a used car is an excellent option and for several good reasons. Besides the price tag, the bulk of depreciation has already occurred when you buy a used vehicle. Some second-hand cars still have part of their original warranty and if you buy one that is three years or older, you might be able to save a thousand dollars on the registration.
If you have decided to purchase a used car instead of a brand new one, but you’re unsure how to proceed, here’s a guide you might find helpful:
Evaluate on your budget
Just like a brand new car, the cost of second hand vehicles may mary significantly, depending on their age, make and model. If you plan to buy from a used car dealership by taking out an auto loan, your budget is something you need to consider.
Take a look at your monthly expenses to see how much can be dedicated to paying your car’s monthly dues. Also, make sure you’re ready with a down payment. The higher amount you can put toward your down payment, the more it will help reduce the interest rate charged against your loan.
Do your research
Now that you have set a budget for this purchase, it’s time to pick a car that will fit your needs. Take time to think about what this car is going to be used for. If you need this vehicle primarily for your family’s needs, then you may need to find a car that has enough room for everyone in the family.
Once you have your eyes fixed on a certain model, it’s time to do more research. Check the prices by visiting various car dealers and also by checking online. Look at specifics like fuel consumption, common issues or complaints by other users of this specific car model, its reliability and whether or not the repair and maintenance are going to be costly.
Be prepared to negotiate
Have you found a used car dealership that sells your target vehicle? Don’t get too excited yet! Don’t immediately say yes on the first offer. Rather, try to negotiate with the dealer. They might give you a discount in monetary form or in the form of a longer MOT. Some dealers also offer a warranty for used cars for at least six months.
Check the vehicle’s history report
After agreeing on the price of the car, be sure to take time to check the vehicle’s history report. This will help you decide whether or not it’s a wise decision to buy this particular car. Some of the most important things you need to find out about a second-hand car are whether or not it has a clean title, if it has been involved in an accident, flood or fire, who owned the car previously, if it has gone through several repairs and if proper maintenance was given.
Do an inspection
Another important step you shouldn’t miss when buying from a used car dealership is the inspection. Inspect the tires, the body, the engine bay and fluid levels. Are there any spots with rust or chipped paint? Are the tires worn out and do they already require replacement? How about the fluid levels? If they’re too low, it could be an indication that the previous owner failed to maintain the car properly. It will also help if you bring along a trusted mechanic to help you do the inspection.
Take the car for a test drive
Finally, to get a better sense of the car’s overall feel, take it for a test drive. This will help you observe the car’s visibility, brakes, acceleration and cornering, mechanical condition and ergonomics. Also, check the leg room in the backseat and, if it has a sound system installed, turn the music on and see how it works.
Opting for a used car offers several advantages. Follow these tips when buying from a used car dealership to make sure you’re driving home a good quality second-hand vehicle.
For more tips on used cars, or if you’re looking to purchase one, please feel free to visit The Auto Warehouse.