When buying a used car, you must take special care that you know what you’re getting. Buying a car is nothing short of making an investment, so it’s important to make a smart, informed decision on that investment. When buying a used car, keep the following tips in mind.
First and foremost, do your homework. You should know what features you’re looking for and how much those features should cost you. Perhaps build a target list and keep a check on it during the research and buying process. Check out buying guides, as well as local ads, to get a feel for your local market. If you truly know your stuff, it’s likely that you’ll be able to negotiate more effectively and get a good price on the car.
Speaking of the price of the car, factor in the financing. Make sure the interest rate works with your budget. Inquire if the seller offers a warranty or protection plan. In fact, some used cars are still under factory warranty. Most new car makers sell certified pre-owned cars that come with a warranty. If you are buying a used car privately, ask a trusted mechanic to take a look before signing on the dotted line. Be sure that the car will pass state emissions tests and safety tests.
Know that you can trace the history of a used car using its vehicle identification number, or VIN. The VIN is found on top of the dashboard. You can run a vehicle history report using the VIN to look for records of accidents, ownership, service, and any title problems. Do a background check of the make and model of the used car you’re considering purchasing. Make sure that car has not experienced safety issues. Even if the make and model has a good reputation, make sure that the specific car you’re thinking of buying is solid itself. Ask to see the car’s service records, which can tell the story of the car and usually indicate that it has been well taken care of.
The advantages to buying a used car include a lower purchase price, lower personal property taxes, and lower insurance. It’s essential, however, that you know what you’re buying. The last thing you want to be driving is a lemon. Be sure you’re making the right choice and selecting an investment that is not only practical, but also safe, solid, and secure. Furthermore, after purchasing your car, keep it safe by considering a custom car cover for your new (used) vehicle. You will want to protect your investment after all that work.