When it comes to buying a car, one of the first questions you will be asking yourself is, ‘Should I buy a new or a used car?’ While a new car is obviously the first choice for anyone, buying a used car turns out to be a lot cheaper than you expect. However, there is the fear of being left with a car that was badly used before or had been in an accident.
But let me tell you a few secrets. A used car isn’t only cheaper initially, it will cost you less in insurance money plus you will be saving a good amount of money in registration and taxes.
7 Must Read Tips to Buying a Used Car
Buying a used car isn’t as bad as most people think. Armed with the right knowledge, you can get yourself a pretty good deal with a used car. These tips will help you achieve that:
Set Your Budget
Don’t go looking for a car (or anything for that matter) without a budget in mind. You can get your dream car at a third of the budget of the same new car. This will give you a good idea of the vehicles you can afford.
When you start looking, get an idea of what kind of a vehicle you need. If you aren’t uncertain about your choice, think of what you want from the car. For instance, an SUV is a good choice if you have a big family. Check out what a brand new version of the car would cost. The rule of thumb is to narrow down your car choices to 3 or 4 models when going for a second-hand car. This will give you a bigger range of options to look over.
When you start looking for a used car, there are so many places you can check out. Start with websites selling online cars. Ask friends and family if they are selling or know someone who is. Facebook groups might also get you in contact with people who are selling cars. Getting a car direct from the owner will probably cost you less than if there is a dealer or other middle man in between.
Go Take a Look at the Car
If you like the price and condition of a car, the next step is to go check out the car. Schedule a meeting with the car owner. Test drive the car to see how it feels. Listen for any weird noises and look out for paint jobs.
Get a Carfax or HPI Report
This is an absolute must if you don’t want to end up with the wrong car. If the owner isn’t keen on giving you the Carfax report, it’s a big red flag. So, why is the Carfax report so crucial?
A Carfax report will tell how the service history of the car. Is it well maintained? How often did it go for maintenance checks and oil changes? It will also tell you the history of the car’s ownership. You can read how many owners it had, whether it was used as a rental or used in the car-hailing business. A Carfax report will also show if the car has been in any accidents in the past.
Equally in the UK a used car HPI check is the equivalent, there are many HPI providers out there, we’ve used RAC car check previously.
Ask your Mechanic to Check the Car
If you have selected your car, the next step is to schedule a mechanic to check out the car. Most car owners will be willing to allow a mechanic to check their car. If not, it is another sign something is wrong with the car.
Ask a trusted mechanic to check the car. If the owner or the dealer suggests their own mechanic, avoid that mechanic. Sometimes a car might have nothing on their Carfax report, but a mechanic will find something interesting.
Ask the mechanic to check out everything. Don’t feel shy. Also, ask your mechanic to suggest a fair price of the car. His estimate is better than anyone.
Negotiate Prices before buying
Before you finalize your car, you would know what price the owner is willing to sell it. Understand that there is always a margin. Negotiate prices before finalizing a price. Go down a few hundred dollars of what you are willing to pay. Negotiate up on your budget later.
If you feel the car is outside your current budget limit, you can go for an auto loan. You can get a second-hand auto car loan approval even with bad credit. Check out these best bad credit auto lenders.
Once you have finalized the car, discuss the mode of payment. Ask the owner to get the registration and transfer papers sorted out before you make your payment.
We hope that these tips will not only help you get the best second-hand car, but will also save you money.