Tips on how to buy a used car

If you are planning to buy a used car, finding the right one can be a challenge. With so many options available these days, you might end up confused and uncertain on which vehicle to buy. So to guide you in buying a used car, here are some tips that you can follow.

  1. Know how much money you can afford

If you are applying a loan to buy a car, the amount of money that you are going to shell out should not be more than what you have. Knowing how much you can afford and sticking to the budget is always a rule of thumb when buying a used car. Second-hand cars usually need extra attention every now and then such as new tires, routine maintenance, new engine, and many others. Aside from that, there are other costs that are also essential, such as fuel and insurance. Therefore, you have to assess your financial capacity and spend less as much as possible for a used car. On top of that, if the vehicle is out of warranty, it is a good idea to set aside an emergency fund to cover any expected repair later on.

  1. Make a target list of used vehicles

A lot of people buy used cars because it can save them a great amount of money. However, you can save more if you consider other car brands available in the market and you make a list of at least three brands that meet your budget and needs. By making a list of various car brands, you can easily compare its pros and cons especially that you are considering a second-hand vehicle. It will also let you see which one is much cheaper than the other with consideration on other factors like insurance, maintenance, car parts, and many others.

  1. Check the prices

Of course, prices are essential in buying a used car, but remember to scrutinize why such seller is selling his or her car for a particular cost. The problem with some cheap used car is its need to undergo a high cost maintenance or replacement of tires, engine, and the like. Hence, it is very important to know the price of the vehicle and other potential costs that you might spend later on, with consideration on your budget.

  1. Check the car’s history report.

Get the vehicle’s history report unless you buy it from a close friend or a family member who can guarantee its history. If the car you are considering has a bad history report, better find another one. You can use AutoCheck and Carfax for vehicle history reports. These sources are reliable and can reveal essential information with the regard to the car’s odometer, salvage title, and many others.

  1. Contact the seller of the used car

As soon as you find a prospective car, call the seller first. Doing so will let you establish a rapport to the seller which lets you verify some information about the vehicle. You can ask a private-party seller about its mechanical problem, or if you are buying from a dealership, you can text or call to ensure that the car is still available. You can also make a used car questionnaire to remind you on what to ask to the seller.

  1. Do a test-drive of the used car

Performing a test drive is the best way to know if the vehicle is a good model for you. It is also a perfect strategy to assess the car’s condition. Tune out distractions and try to focus on the vehicle. Check the engine, the air conditioning, headlights, brakes, and many others. If you are not confident in distinguishing a good used car, bring someone who can do it for you.


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