Buying a used car is a smart decision for many reasons. You can get a car that is as good as new without paying for the depreciation that you experience when driving a new car off of the lot. Cars that are only a year old can be less costly by 20 to 30 percent. You will save money on insurance, used cars are reliable and some are still under warranty. Dealerships sell certified used cars which include warranties and you can trace the history of the car by its VIN number, or vehicle identification number.
Selecting a car that fits your budget and lifestyle is the next consideration you must make. Consider a few different cars in case you can’t find exactly what you want that are in the same class. If you are looking for an SUV, you should choose a class of SUV’s to make the search easier. You may not get all of the options or the color you are looking for so prepare to be open-minded. Another important factor to consider is if you want an automatic or a manual transmission.
The car’s value is tied to the year, mileage, make, performance and popularity of it. If you buy a car that is popular you will pay a premium for it. It is best to check car reports to get the blue book value for a car based on fair, good and excellent condition. Hardly any cars are in the excellent range.
Do your research before going out and test driving a car. Look at the consumer ratings, make sure there are no recalls for that year and make of car. Check to see if it is due for major services and ask the owner to show you receipts of work that has been done. Buying a well-maintained car with all of its service records will save you a lot of money. Run a vehicle history to show the title records to see where the car has been and if it has been in any accidents, there are a few companies that charge a minimal amount to get this very important information. If you see that the car has a salvage title this means that the insurance company has declared it a total loss after an accident.
Decide how much you can afford, if you are going to be taking a loan out figure the monthly payment in your budget. Also figure how much of a down payment you have to reduce your monthly payment. After determining how much you can afford and how much you have as a down payment then you can search for a car in your price range.
To pay for your car you can use cash, financing through a credit union or bank or through a car dealership. If you pay with cash you can probably negotiate more with the seller. Using a bank or a credit union allows you to keep the negotiation simple, show competitive rates, remove the dealership from financing which will encourage you to stick to your budget.
The most common places to shop for a used car are through private parties, on used and independent car lots. Private party car sales can be found online, while driving down the street or in newspapers. Used car lots can offer trade-ins for your car and also certified used cars that have been inspected. Independent car lots sell cars as is.
When buying a used car, test drive it and have a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection if it is the one you decide upon to make sure it’s in good condition. When negotiating for the car know what it’s value is and deduct for things that may need to be repaired. When both parties have decided on a price make sure the title is transferred properly, have the pink slip signed over to you before any cash exchanges hands.