Buying a used car is similar to a new car in many respects. You’re seeking a car that meets your family’s needs, and you might be trying to find one that suits your style while fitting your budget. However, the fact that it is used introduces additional risks you need to take into account. Here are our 5 tips for buying a used car.
Set a Realistic Budget
Buying a used car can save you money on taxes, registration, insurance, and of course, the purchase price. Set a realistic budget for the vehicle purchase before you go shopping. Know how much you can afford when you pay cash or sign up for payments. Don’t push your financial limits, because you don’t want to strain your budget.
Do Your Research Regarding Reasonable Costs
One point in favor of used cars is that they won’t depreciate as much. They have typically already seen the steep depreciation that occurs in the first year of life. The depreciation from then on will be tied to the car’s wear and tear. Unfortunately, people tend to compare the cost of used cars to new. Look up the cost of the car based on its model, age and mileage so you don’t pay more than it is worth.
Don’t sign up for extended warranties and other add-ons. These are rarely worth it. Put that amount of money in a savings account to pay for eventual repairs. Know that you don’t have to trade in your current vehicle to the dealer right then. You will probably make more in a private sale, and you can sell the vehicle elsewhere. Do negotiate a lower price or better deal on the used car.
Go for a Test Drive
Always take a car for a test drive. Verify that you like the handling, acceleration and feel of the car’s interior. Don’t just drive it. Open up the truck and the passenger side doors. How hard will it be to load groceries or kids into the vehicle? Determine how much work is involved in attaching a trailer to the truck’s hitch. Open up the hood. Is it easy to change the oil on your own?
Have the Car Inspected
Many used cars are as dependable as new cars. However, the used car has had part of its usable life used up. Furthermore, the car may have been in an accident or two. The first step is looking up an accident report on any vehicle you’re considering buying. If it has been in a major crash, don’t buy it. The next step is having El Paso used cars dealers are selling inspected. Have a mechanic outside of the dealer’s repair shop inspect it. This will verify the vehicle’s age and condition. They’ll also give you advice on potential issues such as the need to get the alignment fixed in a few thousand miles. Verify that warranty work has been done.
Don’t Let Little Cosmetic Issues Get in the Way of a Bargain
Too many people get new car fever, and they spend more than they can afford or buy newer cars just to maintain an image. This causes many people to reject used cars that are in excellent condition and at a reasonable price because it doesn’t look perfect. Used cars are always cleaned up and generally in great working condition. Yet minor dents in the exterior or signs of wear cause people to gravitate to the nearly new lease returns. Consider the little cosmetic issues a minor price to pay for the thousands you’d save. And don’t buy a nearly new luxury car because it looks great, despite the poor mechanical condition.
Besides, minor upgrades such as getting new car accessories can easily make a used car look brand-new for a relatively small cost.