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How to Shop for a Used Car

a used car lot

Make important checks before buying a used car

Buying a used car is an excellent option for several good reasons. Aside from the fact that it is less expensive than a brand new vehicle, the cost of the insurance is also reduced. Most new cars lose about 30 percent of their value during the first year. You won’t have to take this hit when you opt to buy a second hand car. When looking to buy a used vehicle, it’s important to make the best buying decision. If you’re shopping for a used car soon, here are some helpful tips you could use.

Decide on your budget

Whether you’ll go for a used or a brand new one, buying a car is a large purchase. It will significantly affect your disposable income as well as your monthly budget. Figure out how much of your income can be spent on your monthly vehicle dues. Create a list of your existing expenses and your current monthly income. How much room do you have for the car payments? According to financial experts, you should not spend more than 20 percent of your disposable income for a car payment. Especially when you have other important financial obligations. Also consider the other costs such as the vehicle’s maintenance and repair.

Determine the vehicle features you’re looking for

After deciding on your budget, the next step should be making a list of all the vehicle features you’re looking for. Do you need an SUV or a vehicle like a truck? Are you going to use it for driving around the city? Or you need a vehicle you could use for some off-road driving during the weekends? Is it going to be a family car you’ll use for dropping off and picking up your kids from school? Answer these questions and your decision-making becomes a lot easier.

Shop around and explore all your available options

Now that you pretty much have an idea about the type of car you want to buy, it’s time to start shopping. Begin your search by checking the used car dealers in your area and find out if they have the cars that match your list. Also make use of the online resources so you can explore more options. Try asking your friends and colleagues for recommendations, too. As you check various dealers and websites, make a comparison of the vehicle types and models you want to buy.

Take time to go through used car history

Buying a used car could be risky. And that is why it’s important to dig deeper into its history. Review the history reports and maintenance records. Make sure that the vehicle you’re purchasing has never met an accident or been involved in a crime. Also, ask the car dealer if there has been any recent work done with the car.

Check the mileage

Mileage is one of the indications of a car’s age. The higher the mileage, the older the car is. When doing your research, don’t get fixated on the price because inexpensive doesn’t always mean the best. More often than not, the cheaper cars are the ones with higher mileage. An older car may need more repair and maintenance in the long run. Be sure to check the mileage of the car you’re planning so that you don’t end up buying a vehicle with worn out parts.

Inspect the car for red flags and don’t forget to test drive

Before buying a used car, make sure to do a thorough inspection. Check for red flags and warning signs. You may also bring a trusted technician with you to do a meticulous inspection. If the vehicle has passed your visual inspection, proceed to the test drive. By test driving, you get the feel of how the car runs.

Purchasing a second hand vehicle can be risky but follow these tips to avoid potential problems in the future. Buying a used car soon? Please visit The Auto Warehouse for more information.

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