A vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. While it’s nice to have endless funds and the ability to purchase whatever you want, it’s not a reality for most car buyers. For this reason, many buyers opt to find a used car. Before you start your used car search, remember these seven tips.
Narrow Your List
There are so many millions of used cars for sale that you might begin to feel overwhelmed. Think about what you want and what you need and research vehicles with those options. Narrow down your selection to five or six different makes and models and search from there. It makes the process so much less stressful.
Figure Out the Value
Do not purchase a used car without knowing the value of the car. Do your research to find out what you’re looking at is worth and negotiate a fair price.
Look at Comparisons
If you find a few of the same cars, check the prices, the features, and the mileage in each and use one to negotiate with the other. By telling a dealer you found another one locally and want to check it out first since it’s less expensive, they might lower the price to keep you on the lot.
Test Drive the Car
Never skip the test drive. In fact, bring a friend who is unbiased to go on a ride with you. Make sure the car is comfortable, runs well, and doesn’t have any weird noises. If you don’t like the way it drives, walk away. Look for any vibrations, parts that do not work, and weird movements in the vehicle.
Check Vehicle History Reports
You want to know how many owners the car has had, how often the oil was changed, how often the car was serviced, if it was in any accidents, and everything else there is to know about it before you drive it home.
Ask to See Paperwork
Ask to see the title. Make sure the owner of the vehicle is listed as the owner on the title. Make sure the title doesn’t say anything about the car being salvaged, reconstructed, branded, or that it’s a lemon law buyback. Check that the VIN on the car matches the VIN on the title.
Have the Car Inspected
Do not ever purchase a used car without having it inspected. The cost is typically between $100 and $200 and can be done by any vehicle repair shop. If there is something wrong with the vehicle, the pre-purchase inspection will show the problem. It may not be easy for you to tell if the odometer has been tampered with, but an inspection will show this information right away.