10 Things to Know Before Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is often considered a smart financial decision, if done right. However, you could end up with an unsuitable car if you buy it on impulse, do not do proper research, or stretch your budget to far.

Gaining sufficient knowledge about used cars will always come in handy whenever you go to buy them from a private seller or a car dealership.

We’re here to help, mentioned below is a list of things that you should absolutely know before you buy a used car.

1. Do Your Research and Determine What You Really Want

It is important that you really know what you want out of your potential car. People often make the mistake of going to car dealers without any prior research. This gives the dealers an upper hand over them and they end up selling these people inferior cars at high rates.
You should never rush when it comes to used cars and take ample time to determine what you are looking for. Writing the qualities you are looking for down in a book can prove to be significantly helpful.

2. Setting a Budget

You might come across some pushy salesperson who might tempt you to raise your budget. It is important that you never become victim of their savvy tactics and you can easily avoid it by setting a budget beforehand. You should also set a realistic budget according to the qualities that you are looking for in a used car.
Be firm with your range or budget whenever you are negotiating the price of the car, this will be really helpful in giving you edge over the salesman. Never reveal the actual number that you have decided for buying your car and keep in mind that the budget should include repair and inspection money as well.

Be sure to properly research the true cost to own a car

3. Look For a Carfax Report

You can find out the complete history of a car by simply running a Carfax report. There are some dealers that present you the reports voluntarily. However, it would be wise to check them for yourself as well to make sure that the report is not tampered with.

4. Considering Financing Options

There are certain people who do not plan to use cash to buy their cars. There are numerous financial options that they can seek to make sure that they are able to buy the car. Credit unions and auto loans are among a few good financing options for these people.
You can talk to potential lenders and look for a few quotes for the car you are looking for in your price range.

Ensure you’re getting the knowledge you need to make proper decisions and do not let a car loan ruin your credit.

5. Car Inspection

It is necessary that you get the car inspected before buying it. Take a trustworthy mechanic along with you and ask him to thoroughly inspect your car to find out if it needs any repairs or if there are any issues that the dealer hasn’t told you about.

6. Never Trust the Dealer Blindly

No matter how much a dealer claims that the car is perfect never trust him or her blindly. It would be wise to check the car for yourself and get it checked a professional. Comprehensive inspection will reveal the real condition of the car and will be helpful for you in determining how much money you should be spending on the car.

7. Fuel Consumption

This area often goes unchecked. Fuel consumption is something that is difficult to determine without driving a car for a few hours. There have been numerous incidents where cars have been sold for a significantly cheap price only because their fuel consumption was extremely high.
Apart from some common methods of checking fuel mileage like fueleconomy.gov finding out how much fuel your car should be consuming can be tough. You should ask the mechanic to thoroughly check and test the engine and ask the owner to allow you to test drive for a couple of hours.

8. Stolen

Numerous cars on the market are stolen. You should always inspect the car thoroughly to find out whether it’s stolen or not. Buying a stolen car can land you into a lot of trouble. Always check the car’s vehicle identification number to determine who the real owner is.

9. Recalls

Always check to see if the recalls of the car you are buying are completed or not. There are some recalls that you can handle by yourself easily, but there are some that entail extreme safety issues that should be addressed immediately.

10. Check Repair and Service History

It would be wise to check the service and repair history of the car to find out how much damage it has previously endured. Looking for another car would be the best option if the car has a history of regular repairs. You can check service and repair history by logging in to Autocheck and Carfax sites for a small fee.

 

What other tips can you suggest?? 🙂 

Thomas

Certified Public Accountant, Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Science in Accounting, Chartered Global Management Accountant, Family Man

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