Buying a car can be stressful, and buying a used vehicle comes with its own set of unique issues. But going down the used car route is a popular option – in fact, it’s estimated that some 40 million used cars are bought every year. Here are a few things you should always keep in mind when the time comes to purchase a used ride.
The Process Before the Purchase
Some of the most important steps occur before you even set foot on a used car lot. Perhaps the biggest one one is establishing your budget. There are two factors in play here that could help you determine this all-important figure. Firstly, you should figure out how much you’re willing to spend – a number that may include how much of a loan you’re comfortable in taking out if one is needed. Secondly, you should also be mindful of the secondary costs that you’ll be responsible for after the car rolls off the lot, such as gas and insurance.
The next step is to research a suitable car for your needs. In this day and age, you can easily do this from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the power of the internet. There are plenty of tools at your disposal that you can use to match a car with the desires of your heart.
Knowledge is Power
When you’ve figured out what you want – and what you’re willing to spend to get what you want – you’re ready to drop by a dealer. This may seem intimidating, but it really isn’t. The trick to taking the edge off is coming to the lot with knowledge.
You should always request the used car’s history to make sure it wasn’t subject to accidents or other rough stuff. As a rule of thumb, you should refrain from buying an extended warranty, as experts say it’s wiser to save the money you’d spend on a rainy day. Finally, you should always be mindful of your budget, as this will help you from being swayed into considering more expensive options.
A Word on Buying from an Independent Source
Sometimes, you may be in a position to forego the lot and purchase a used car from an independent source, like a neighbor. This act does eliminate a good chunk of paperwork that you may encounter at a used car lot. However, it also comes with its own unique risks pertaining to the car’s overall health.
Even if you trust the source, it is wise to take the car to a garage and have it thoroughly inspected before completing the transaction. While obtaining the car’s history will rule out major stuff like accidents, a close inspection will ensure the car you’re about to purchase is showing no signs of severely degrading. If there is anything that raises a red flag, it’s wise to call off the sale.
If you keep these guidelines in mind, buying your used car will be a much easier process. This additional ease also comes with an added benefit. Namely, it will ultimately make you feel better about yourself in the process.