Your Guide To Buying A Used Car
Buying a used car can be a great way to save money, be conscious of the environment, and also get a great vehicle to last you for hopefully the next foreseeable years. Although buying a used car can be an attractive idea for many reasons, the process can also be a bit daunting. There are many different factors that come into play when you are considering making a used car purchase. Most times when a buyer is in the market for a used car, there is really limited knowledge of the vehicle, where it came from, and how the owner took care of it. The cosmetic care of the car will be fairly obvious, but that isn’t always a good way to gauge how well the mechanics were cared for. If you are in the market to buy a used car, we have a great short guide full of tips and tricks for you as you begin searching for your new vehicle.
1) Know Your Price
Knowing your vehicle budget before you go into the buying process can help you immensely when it comes to sticking to your price point. If you are buying from a dealer, you can almost always guarantee that a salesman will try to get to above your price point. So be sure to establish your budget BEFORE going to buy a car.
2) Don't Shop Alone
We recommend to NEVER shop alone. Shopping alone can leave you in a more vulnerable state than if you have someone with you. In the Youtube video, “Ten Rules Used Car Buyers Should Follow – Lehto’s Law Ep. 3.33” attorney Steve Lehto states that, “If you shop alone, especially at a car dealership you’re going to be outnumbered the second you’re on the lot and it’s much easier for someone to persuade you to buy something against your better judgement if you’re by yourself.”
Having a second set of eyes will help you stick to your price point, as well as help you possibly spot a potential issue or problem that you may have missed otherwise. It’s always a good idea to have someone with you as you car shop for a used vehicle.
3) Research the Vehicle
If you know what things you are looking for in a vehicle before you have a made a purchase, make sure to do your research. For example, you might know that you want a crossover, to replace your sedan and you would also prefer a Chevy over a Toyota. So do your research on Chevy crossovers, see which one fits what you are looking for. But remember, there are many different makes of vehicles, so if possible, do your best to research the various other makes, such as Ford, Honda, and Buick. All of these makes and others too carry various models of crossovers that should be taken into consideration. It is always a good idea to look into all of the vehicles that you can to have the most knowledge possible before going into the purchase process.
4) Look Up the VIN Online
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a great resource for you if you are in the market to find a used car. On the NHTSA website you can enter in your potential vehicles make, model, and even VIN number. Researching the VIN number will help you see what recalls might have been placed on the vehicle and if they are still in effect as well as what safety concerns might be posed with that specific make and model of vehicle. Be sure to educate yourself to the best of your ability with all the information that is accessible, and there is a ton of information that you can glean from the NHTSA website, you just have to look for it!
5) Perform a Thorough Test Drive
When you do find a vehicle that you are interested in, it’s the right make, model, miles, color, or whatever other specifications you are looking for, it will be time to take it for a test drive. Many people take vehicles for a test drive around the block, but it’s important to drive your vehicle under complete road conditions. This includes getting it up to speed on the highway, as well as driving it more than just a few miles around the block. Take the time to thoroughly drive the car around and fully asses everything it is that you are looking for.
6) Hire a Mechanic
Our last tip for today when it comes to buying a used car is to hire a mechanic to come and take a look at the vehicle before you make a purchase.
Unless you are an avid gear head, there might be many things that would go unnoticed to you as you proceed through the purchase process. Many of those potential issues could be avoided with the help of an experienced mechanic to come take a look at the vehicle and just do a thorough check over. It would be worth the investment if you are able to catch a potential issue before making the purchase.