Buying a used car has its pros and cons. The best advantage of buying a used car is that you do not take a significant hit on the depreciation of the asset. The previous owners have already taken a hit there, and you can the used car for a lower price. Even a one-year-old model will be at least 20% to 30% less expensive because of the depreciation. The major disadvantage of buying the used car is that it can be stressful.
The journey from shortlisting the car to making a deal has many unknowns, and you need to account for them all. To help you while buying the used car, we have listed ten essential tips that you need to consider. Check them out below.
Table of Contents
1. Setting the Budget
Before you start looking for a used car, decide a budget for yourself. See what you can afford and understand how much cash you have. Do not buy something expensive just for the sake of it. If you plan to finance your car, then understand how much you will be able to pay monthly.Deciding the budget will help you in ensuring that you are not going to overspend just because you fell in love with a model at the dealership.
You must also account for the cost of registration and insurance. It is always a wise decision to set some money aside for the repairs that you may have to do soon after the purchase. Setting a budget is undoubtedly an essential factor, and you should have a number before you start looking for care.
2. Research about the Vehicle & Options
After you have decided on the budget, see what type of models will fall into your budget. Check the make year and the miles clocked in the car. By the end of this exercise, you must have a list of options that you will be able to purchase. You can make a target list after this step. Opt for reliable brands like Toyota and Honda. Cars from these two options are highly reliable. You can even go for the Korean brands. Remember that most of the German brands are high on maintenance. Japanese brands are also very reputable.
You must also look at the total cost of ownership, the cost of spares, and the service cost while researching. It is always good to have a list of 3 to 5 cars before you start looking out for the vehicles at the dealership.
3. Locating the Car – Source of Vehicle
After you have done the research, you need to find a vehicle that suits your need. It is always a better idea to check out various dealers who deal in used cars. Ensure that the dealer that you are approaching has a good reputation. Steer clear of the shady dealerships. You can check out the reviews of the dealership that you are dealing with, and this will give you an idea about the course of the deal. While you are buying the car from a private seller, be extra careful with whom you are dealing with.
4. Avoid the Add-Ons
A lot of people get swayed by the add-on options that they are getting for the car. It can significantly bump up the price of the vehicle that you are buying. If you are asking for extras, then be aware of the cost. It is always better to get these add-ons installed by a private company. You need to be extra careful if you are financing your car. In the final cost, you will end up paying a lot of money for all these add-ons.
It is going to be the best decision to buy these add-ons from a private company or to install them yourself. Do not buy any extra from the dealer.
5. History of Vehicle & Seller Verification
After you have shortlisted the car, it is vital to check the history of the vehicle. If you are buying the vehicle from a dealer, then you must request the history report. Not having reports or inconsistencies in the report can be a red flag, and you must immediately walk away from the deal. Check about the accidental history of the car. Ensure that there was no damage to the engine or the chassis.
While buying the car from the seller, it is also essential to check the title information of the car. Checking history will help you in ensuring that the present owner has full title over the car. A lot of people end up in trouble after purchasing the cars that do not have a clear title on them. You must also look at the service history of the vehicle.
6. Inspection and Test Drive
The investigation is the most important part before you buy the car. Inspect carefully for unreported damages and look for the rusting under the body. A lot of people request a mechanic to have a look at the vehicle. Inspection by a mechanic can help you in getting a proper health report of the car. This step can be beneficial in avoiding future repairs.
After the physical inspection, take the car out for the spin. Check for the engine noise, suspension, fuel economy, brakes, and even the batteries. If you feel something is not right about the car, then trust your gut feeling and skip the deal. You do not want to be stuck with expensive repair bills.
7. Negotiate on the Deal
Do not simply pay the price that the dealer is asking. Negotiate the price, and you will surely save hundreds of dollars. Learning some negotiation techniques would never harm you. Understand that you have all the power since you are the customer. If the dealer or the representative is not offering you a good deal, be mature enough to walk away from the dealer. Do not let the salesperson take control of the talks. Look at the exact value of the car and negotiate accordingly.
Do some research in advance and decide the maximum price that you would want to pay. If you have to make an opening offer, then make it much lower than the asking price. Do not go too low and know the average price. After you have done the negotiations, talk about the trade-in deals. Do not talk about the trade-in before you arrive at a final price.
8. Paying in Cash
There are many finance options available on the used cars, but it is always better to pay in cash. A finance option can be unrealistic, and you may end up paying a lot as the interest payment. While settling in cash, you will not be burdened by the debt, and at the same time, paying in cash can help you in getting a better deal. Paying in cash also cuts down the stress of making large payments every month.
If you do not have that sort of cash available, then try to make a maximum possible down payment for your car. Down payment will reduce your monthly payments, and it will also bring down the overall interest payments.
Most of the time, the dealer would offer you the correct and valid paperwork. You need to be a little careful while you are buying private sellers. It is also worth checking the reputation of the dealer. Never drive your car out of the dealership or the parking lot until the title is handed over to you. Some people had reported cases when they purchased a car without the seller having a proper title on it.Checking the title will help you in saving yourself from any kind of legal issue in the future. Do all the paperwork carefully and know what you are signing.
Once everything is done and once you have the title of the car, go and buy the insurance. It is crucial to have your car insured while you are on the road. Look at the type of coverages that you are getting. Ensure that you have obtained the past insurance records from the dealer or the seller. Some of the insurance companies would require this previous record to provide you with the service. Checking insurance is yet another factor that you must look at while buying the car. Before the deal, you can ring the insurance company to check about damages to the car in the past.
These were the tips that we wanted to share with you today, and we are sure that these tips will help you in purchasing a reliable car for yourself. These tips can surely help you in getting the confidence that you need while striking a deal with the used car. Keep all these tips handy with you, and you will not have to worry about getting into a sour deal. For more such vehicle-related information, you can browse through other sections of our website. You will get many more details and insights about the automobiles.