Tips To Buying a Used Car

by Nancy

Buying a used car was once seen as a risk. However, as modern cars are far more dependable than they were in the past, buying a used car is a wise financial decision that can save a person a lot of money. When buying a used car, it is important to check the car out to make sure there aren’t any serious problems with the vehicle specifically or with the vehicle model generally. Though there isn’t a specific checklist that will fit every situation, a buyer can remove many of the risks of buying a used vehicle by following a few simple steps.

Getting Ready

Before heading out to buy a vehicle, a buyer needs to make a number of important decisions. Perhaps the most important is setting a budget. If a buyer is using cash, it should be easy to determine how much can be spent. If the buyer will need a loan, the amount borrowed should result in a reasonable payment amount that the buyer can afford. A common rule is that a person should not spend more than 20% of his or her income on transportation costs. A buyer should get preapproved for a loan before car shopping in order to streamline the process once a vehicle is selected.

Choosing a Vehicle

A buyer needs to determine what type of vehicle to buy based on his or her specific needs and wants. For example, a single person probably doesn’t want a mini-van while a family with children probably doesn’t want to buy a two-door coupe. Determining what type of vehicle to buy will help to make it easier to sort through all of the various used cars available at the car dealer or otherwise for sale on the market.

Vehicle Inspection

When buying a used vehicle, it should be thoroughly inspected. The vehicle should at least be visually inspected for problems in the engine, drivetrain, exhaust and other major components. Sellers should be willing to let prospective buyers have the car inspected by their own mechanic. Mileage is an important consideration as higher miles decreases the value of a vehicle. Tire condition and cosmetic problems should not be determining factors when buying a pre-owned car, but a vehicle that needs new tires and body work should be priced accordingly.

Model Performance

Though a specific vehicle might check out well, a buyer also needs to be concerned with the model of vehicle in consideration. Each year there are numerous recalls and service bulletins issued for various makes and models. Before buying any auto, the buyer should look up any recalls or bulletins and make sure that any problems with the vehicle have been corrected. Numerous organizations also rank vehicles for dependability and other factors. These rankings can be used as a factor to help a buyer to choose between different vehicle make and models.

Once a vehicle has been selected and a price agreed upon, the buyer and seller can complete the sale. The buyer will need to get the title or a bill of sale from the seller at the time of the purchase. The buyer will need to register the vehicle and have insurance coverage added for the vehicle. When the deal is completed in full, the buyer should be ready to show off the car and enjoy it for years to come.