Are you thinking of buying a used car? You are not making a mistake! A brand new car once purchased can never be sold the same price (there are few exceptions anyway). Buying a used can doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t afford a brand new car. When done right, buying a used car can be a smart decision.
All you need to know is follow the right steps, and you will surely have a good experience. In this detailed guide, you will learn how to buy a used car and avoid any regrets.
Where to find used cars
Buying a used car starts from knowing where to find a good one. There are lots of places where you can see used vehicles, from online websites, dealerships, CarMax, auctions, and even private party. However, you should know that each of these options comes with their pros and cons. If you are looking to get reasonably used cars in their brand new state, then the certified pre-owned sales are the best bet for you. Make sure you carry out detailed research on each of the options you choose before you set out to use them.
How to buy used cars
Test drive and inspect the used car
Do not buy used cars without test driving and thorough inspection. Most people buy used cars from different parts of the world by just seeing the pictures of the car. Although this may work out sometimes, most times, people get burnt from this procedure. Test driving and inspection is a must; you cannot rule out this factor when buying a car. You can only determine the real state of a vehicle by checking the car first hand. You get to drive the car and check out its performance on different roads. This is how you will find out if there is any potential problem with the car and know if it is a good purchase.
You can do this by fixing an appointment with the seller after you must have received all the necessary information about the car.
Also, do not fail to carry along a mechanic or professional car tester to help you figure out the actual state of the car. The mechanic will give you an unbiased expert opinion on the vehicle.
Test the car only when the engine is cold, this will help you figure out the right state of the engine, and you can quickly detect if there is any serious issue with the engine. Buy from a reuptuable dealer.
Any seller that will not allow you test drive the car has something fishy going on; please avoid such deals. Make sure you utilize the opportunity because this is when you find out more about the car.
Watch out for the following points when you go on the test drive:
- How it feels when you drive
- How it feels when you go over bumpy roads
- The acceleration level
- The suspension, check if it is comfortable and balanced
- Check if the car pulls over to one side or another, use you’re steering and check for alignments
- Test the brake (be careful though), check if it is in good shape.
- Check the headroom and legroom. Make sure you are comfortable with it.
- Ensure you switch off the radio or CD player as you test drive. This will help you focus on the driving and take note of any unusual noise from the engine.
Negotiate the price
Before you negotiate the price for the vehicle you intend to buy, you need to carry out extensive research on the car from various websites and car dealerships. This way you will be equipped with the right experience to strike the deal. This will show the seller or dealer that you are an educated buyer so he will not attempt to rip you off.
Read carefully before you sign
After you have reached an agreement with the seller on a price, make sure you go through all the clauses in the contract before you sign. If you do not understand the terms of the paperwork, you can bring your lawyer and have him take care of the paperwork for you. Do not make the mistake of signing what you don’t understand. Request for the Vehicle History Report and go through it correctly so you will be sure of what you are getting.