Are you planning to buy a used car, but have no idea where to begin? Then you’re at the right place. We’re here to help you make an informed decision about your used car purchase.
Here are the top tips and tricks in buying used cars that you should know:
- Stick to your budget.
Set a reasonable overall budget depending on your finances and thorough research. Stick to this budget, and don’t go higher than it.
- Make a list of reasonable options.
The process of making your list depends on you. You can go online for a preliminary search, ask friends and family for recommendations, and visit dealerships.
- Check the car’s vehicle history report.
Getting the vehicle history report tells you everything you need to know about that used car you’ve been eyeing. Avoid scams and overpricing by getting a vehicle history report online.
- Take a close look at the car.
Secondhand cars are like fingerprints― no two are totally the same. Thus, it’s crucial for you to inspect each one of them carefully. Look for signs of collision damage and faulty engine.
- Bring your mechanic friend.
If you’ve settled on one or a few secondhand cars, bring your mechanic to inspect it. An independent report from a professional is important in case you missed some crucial details.
- Drive it like there’s not tomorrow.
Don’t just take the used car for a quick spin. Drive it for more than 30 minutes, as if it’s your own. Observe how it performs on the road to see if it’s the right fit.
- Negotiate like crazy.
According to Ed Curry, a used-vehicle shop manager, the average gross profit for a used car is $1,800, so don’t hesitate to drive a hard bargain.
- Consider word of mouth.
Reviews are a reliable way to determine if a used car dealership or seller is reliable or not. Make sure the reviews come from certified customers though.
- Interrogate the seller.
Used cars are being sold for various reasons. Some of them are positive (e.g. getting an upgraded vehicle, needing more money for other bills). Others are negative (e.g. disposing the vehicle after an accident, scamming people). Interrogate the seller to know exactly why the used car is being sold.
- Don’t forget about insurance.
If the used car doesn’t come with insurance, you’ll have to get one on your own before taking it out for a spin. Used cars, like new ones, aren’t exempted from accidents that can burn a hole in your pocket.
Purchasing a secondhand car is like going on an expedition. There are many things you’ll see along the way, but not all of them are worth paying attention to. They simply serve as distractions that prevent you from reaching your main goal. Without a map or a guide, completing the expedition is not possible.
The same thing applies to looking for a secondhand car. Some people might try to scam or rip you off. Thus, having a map or guide is crucial. Follow the tips and tricks above and you’ll be fine.