Sometimes a new car or vehicle is just outside our budgets and we need to consider other options. A good, used car may be the answer. Here are some guidelines when purchasing a used vehicle.
No, matter the reason; here are some guidelines to making your purchase.
1. Determine your budget and shop around for rates. Interest rates on cars can vary by the age of the car and length of the loan. Call your insurance agent and get an estimate for insurance.
2. Always do some homework first. Many times you have a good idea of the make and model of a few used cars you would be interested in purchasing. Site’s like Kelley’s Blue Book (kbb.com) and Edmunds (edmunds.com) offer a lot of information as to car values, gas mileage, problem production years for a model, etc. Used car dealers have sales people you can speak with directly that are knowledgeable about makes and models, and quirks for many cars.
3. There are many other venues to review when looking for a new used car. Consider both online and newspaper classifieds, Craigslist, autotrader.com, carmax.com, carsoup.com, carana.com, or cars.com.
4. Determine if you are interested in buying from a used car dealer, a private individual or an online site. There are pros and cons for each option. Things like warranties, reputation, visual inspection and communication need to be considered.
5. Contact and communicate with the buyer. Try to bring along someone -a second set of eyes is always beneficial. View the car in the daylight. Meet in a populated spot like a mall parking lot. Trust your gut instinct. If you are uncomfortable with the seller, stop considering that car.
6. Take the car and have it thoroughly inspected. You may be getting a great price for the car, but there could be some potential mechanical issues that could create a financial problem. Order a Carfax. Many times, a used car dealer will provide all of this free of charge.
7. Conduct a test drive on both city streets and the highway. Be the driver and then the passenger during the test drive. Will the steering wheel, seat and mirror adjust to your comfort level?
8. Once you decide this car is the one you want, negotiate the price. If dealing with a dealer you may be able to negotiate additional warranty.
There are many options when purchasing a used car. Take your time, do your homework and best of luck!