Buying a used car is a wise investment. As the prices of brand-new vehicles continue to rise, a secondhand car may be the best option as long as you know the basics. Whether buying from a firsthand owner or a dealership, it’s essential to know what to check.
There are pros and cons to buying a used car. For instance, the vehicle might be within your budget limit, yet it has different issues that might cost you more. The good news is that you can prevent all these mistakes by following the tips below.
Do your research and determine what you need.
One of the common mistakes of buyers is that they are not quite sure about what they need. As long as the vehicle is moving, working, and serves its purpose, they forget the things to consider. Before you buy a car, answer these questions;
- How many passengers will you have every day?
- Do you need a small or large vehicle?
- What features are important to you when driving? (example: radio, GPS)
Once you know what you need, head on to your computer and do your research. Look for cars that best fit your needs and check their prices as well. Doing this technique will prevent you from getting overwhelmed by salespersons in dealerships. Before you enter a car shop, check out their advertisements and promos, so you’ll know what you are getting yourself into.
Know your budget.
Don’t let the seller or the salesperson force you to go beyond your budget. Yes, no matter how much you like that vehicle, stay firm. Setting a budget is a good way to encourage yourself to search more and keep looking. Remember, there are many car sellers and dealerships out there. You have to find your match.
When talking to the seller, keep your budget range in mind and wait for them to make the first offer. Not giving them any information about how much you can pay gives you the advantage to negotiate.
In addition, don’t forget that your budget should include the cost for inspection and minor repairs if there are any.
Consider different financing options.
You may be working on a budget, but it would still be wiser to know if the dealership can offer financing options. But don’t stick with one dealer only. Try to get a variety of rates and quotations from different sellers and compare them afterward.
Most first-time buyers find it challenging to negotiate with sellers. Either they feel afraid of speaking out, or they lack the skills in dealing. If it’s your first time, it would be better to bring someone along, specifically someone with experience in buying secondhand cars. You can bring your dad or uncle or anyone who has more knowledge than you.
Have the car inspected.
Bring your trusted mechanic and let them have a look at the car. This is the most crucial part of the buying process. It saves you from expensive repairs, costly part replacements, and many more. Typically, the dealer will guarantee that the car works perfectly fine and doesn’t have any mechanical defects. Yet, you should still see for yourself if the car is in good running condition.
For example, you have decided to buy a 2018 Subaru Forester, some of the things that your mechanic needs to check are fluid leaks, transmission, brakes, engine, and the head gasket.
Check the CARFAX report.
What is a CARFAX report? It contains the car’s history, informing you whether the vehicle has been in an accident or is potentially unsafe to use. Sometimes, the dealers run this report on their own, but you can always find the information yourself.
Do a test drive.
You need to know how the car feels. A test drive will allow you to see for yourself if everything works perfectly fine. While you’re at it, test the car on different kinds of roads, highways, downhills, and rocky roads. When something doesn’t feel right, walk away.
Don’t be afraid to walk away.
Always remember that you have different options. Don’t go into a dealership intending to take a car home within the day. You might get overwhelmed with the idea of having a new vehicle to drive, but it’s important to keep an open mind. Being too eager to get a car could put you in a situation that will force you to purchase the unit.
Generally, buying a new possession is exciting and liberating, whether it’s brand new or secondhand. But when it comes to buying something, such as a car, that would cost you a lot of money; it’s best to always do your research first before signing a deal. Remember that knowledge is power, and you can use it as an advantage to negotiate with the dealer.