7 Must-Follow Tips When Buying a Used Car

Considering the high cost of purchasing a new car, it is no wonder that many people opt for used cars. Getting the best deal requires you to be aware of what you want and how much you are willing to spend on it. With the numerous second-hand vehicles on sale in the market, you are exposed to an endless list of options that may inhibit you from making the best choice. The following are essential tips to follow when shopping for a used car.

1- Set a Budget

The first thing to do is to set a budget that you will strictly adhere to. However, the purchase price shouldn’t be the only consideration in your budget. Used cars need constant maintenance and replacement, so remember to include running costs such as fuel and insurance. If your budget is tight and you feel the need to supplement it with a loan; make sure the ensuing car payment isn’t more than 20% of the salary you take home.

2- Research

With your budget in place, it’s now time to scan the market for the car you fancy. Make a list of used vehicles you want and remember to consider multiple brands. The general rule is that it is wise to come up with a list of 3-5 cars that meet your preferences. If you are thinking of acquiring a vehicle less than 5-years old, it is good to look for a certified pre-owned car. Finally, be cautious of car deals that seem way too cheap, they aren’t always the best.

3- Check Car Prices

Depending on the location you end up purchasing the car, prices will normally vary. You can find the prices on the list of cars you have made at used-car retailers, car dealerships, and independent car yards to give you an idea of how much you will have to cough up. If you want to see what other people are buying the car brands on your list for, you can check the average price of vehicles that individuals in your area are willing to pay for.

4- Check the Vehicle’s History Report

The history report may not be necessary if you are buying the car from a friend or family; but if you are buying from a stranger, you must go through the history report. This will enable you to access vital information about the automobile. All you need is a Vehicle Identification Number which you run through the state database. The report will enable you to confirm that the car is not stolen, tied to an outstanding loan or doesn’t have an insurance write-off. Am sure you don’t want any problems with the authorities in future!

5- Contact the Seller

Never be in a hurry to go and check out the car before you speak to the seller. You need to institute a good rapport with him to enable you to cross-check the information you’ve gathered about the vehicle. If the seller is a private party as opposed to a dealer, insist on carrying out the inspection at the owner’s home address.

6- Inspect the Vehicle

Inspecting the car is a very crucial stage when buying a used car. If you are not an expert on cars, find someone with sufficient knowledge to help you appraise the vehicle thoroughly. Ensure that you conduct a test drive to check the condition of various components. Remember to check the steering wheel, brakes, engine, transmission, and any other parts that you deem important before you give the vehicle a clean bill of health.

7- Negotiate and Purchase

Once you are satisfied with the condition of the vehicle, you can proceed to negotiate. Remember to have the maximum price you are willing to pay and always make an initial offer that is lower than this. Do your best to get the seller into giving you the best deal possible. This can mean using any minor faults or problems you’ve identified on the vehicle to strengthen your bargaining position. After you’ve come to an agreement on the purchase price with the seller, the next thing is to pay. But before you do this, make sure you have all the relevant paperwork in order. Remember to also get a receipt with all the owner’s details after making the payment.

The next time you decide to buy a used car, ensure you have a solid plan in place. Follow the above tips to help you get the best deal in the market.

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