Buying a car is a big investment. Be sure you know the things to consider when buying a used car, which are highlighted here.
A record-breaking 39.2 million used cars were sold in the US in 2017.
2017 also saw a $63 million jump in the amount of money defrauded from Americans. People in the US lost $905 million thanks to scam artists.
Of course, not all of that money would have been lost through car scams. However, you could see how it might have contributed.
Likewise, scams are just one example of something a used car buyer must be aware of. In reality, there’s a lot to think about when buying a second-hand vehicle. And there can be significant problems when buying a car without due consideration.
Keep reading to learn 7 things to consider when buying a used car.
7 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Car
Used car sales happen all the time in the US. Every day, thousands of cars are bought and sold. However, that isn’t to say it’s easy. There are all sorts of important considerations for buying a second-hand car.
Here are 7 of the main ones.
1. Budget and Financing
The first step to buying a car is deciding your budget.
Knowing how much money you’re prepared to spend on a car will help you narrow down your search. Think about how you’ll pay for the car too. Will you pay in cash, with credit, monthly payments…a bank loan?
Make sure your budget accounts for additional expenses too. These can include vehicle inspections (more on this next) and new parts, among others.
It can pay to be flexible with your budget. Sometimes, paying a little extra can make a big difference in the quality and longevity of the vehicle.
2. Ask Yourself What You Need
What we want and what we need are usually two vastly different animals.
That’s especially true when it comes to cars.
You may be yearning for a sporty boy racer, that’ll be the envy of your friends. You might want a convertible that goes naught to sixty of 5 seconds.
In reality, you’ve got a young family to take to school in the mornings, and bags of shopping to transport at the weekend. And so on.
Unfortunately, it’s usually best to prioritize practicality over pleasure.
3. Car Inspections
Never purchase a car without getting it inspected by an impartial professional.
Paying for the paperwork to be inspected can be handy too. Most used car buyers aren’t car experts. It’s easy to be misled and to purchase a car that’s been acquired illegally. You can purchase car background checks for added peace of mind.
It pays to have someone inspect the vehicle before you buy it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying from a private seller or a dealership. You might have absolute trust in them, but there’s always the risk of upset.
Can you afford to pay the money and sign the paperwork, only for the car to breakdown the next day?
4. Internet Research
Research the car you’re interested in before buying it.
Look into the model and the year. Read reviews. Check for common problems. Then decide if it sounds good enough for your needs.
Next, search for the exact car you’re thinking of buying. Use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to get a vehicle history report drawn up. This initial expense can save you thousands of dollars if you discover a problem prior to purchase.
5. Test Drive the Car
Make sure you test drive the car before paying for it.
You want to make sure it drives well, and that it’s mechanically sound. The inspection should have settled your nerves. However, there’s no replacement for getting behind the wheel. Listen for strange noises, and get a general feel for how it drives. Ask to drive in a variety of places to test its full functionality.
Any salesman who doesn’t want you to take a test drive probably has something to hide.
6. Warranty and Insurance
Warranty and insurance are another two things to consider.
A warranty can offer great peace of mind. You know you can take the car away and get any problems fixed without issue. Check what’s covered though, and ask for how long the warranty lasts.
Next up, insurance. The insurance costs of second-hand cars can sometimes be more expensive than the vehicle itself! Get some quotes sent through at your earliest convenience. Otherwise, you may face a nasty surprise when you come to buy insurance for it.
Equally, you may require insurance before taking the test drive. Moreover, some dealers will only sell you the car if you’ve got proof of insurance.
7. Price Negotiations
Don’t accept the first price that’s offered to you.
Try to barter instead.
It might not come naturally. You might feel awkward and embarrassed to ask for a discount. But it’s always worth a try. Most dealers have acquired the car for a relative pittance and earn a hefty margin from a sale. There’s often wiggle-room when it comes to making an offer.
Let them ask the price, then go in low, and work your way up as you come to an agreement. You might bag yourself a bargain!
Time to Get Behind the Wheel
There you have it: 7 crucial things to consider when buying a used car.
Buying used cars is exceptionally common in the US. But so are the number of car-buying horror stories! You have to keep certain things in mind throughout the process.
You risk buying a car that will only bring you problems if you fail to do so. From the initial research, onto the purchase itself, be sensible, and seek advice wherever necessary.
Keep all the considerations that we’ve discussed here in mind and you’ll be enjoying your new used-car in no time.
Are you anywhere near Burien and hoping to buy a used car? Get in touch with us today to find the right car for you!