There are many benefits of buying a used car instead of a new one. The most obvious one is that used cars are more affordable than their brand new counterparts. If you are a new driver or on a tight budget, it may be more prudent for you to search among the vast number of used cars for your vehicle. However, before doing so it is good to ensure that you know what you are doing (no really). The main reason why you must take care when purchasing a used vehicles is simply because it is not new. The car has been used and has depreciated so you need to know exactly what you are paying for and make sure there’s no surprises. Unfortunately, some have been duped by sales persons who mislead them or hid facts about the vehicle. Good preparation and heeding some basic tips can help to prevent this when purchasing a used car.
When buying a used car you need to select the source wisely. Reputable dealerships may offer higher prices; however, you know they will be there if you find something wrong with the vehicle—especially if you buy a CPO (certified pre-owoned). We’re not saying private sellers are normally bad, but not all individuals have the best intentions, so if someone sells you a bad vehicle they are likely to disappear once they have received the funds. If you are seeking a safety net, look for a recommended dealership that offers warranties on their used vehicles. Also, get any agreements in writing and ensure that it is signed wherever applicable. Be sure to read the agreement before signing. Do not simply trust the seller to document all and only what was discussed.
Some people purchase a used car in order to take advantage of lower prices and payment plans. Some are more flexible with those who do not have perfect credit. However, ensure that you get full disclosure on all payment agreements. Request a breakdown of all fees associated with the transaction and the timeline of when payments are due and when the complete payment is set to be completed. Fees may include interest charges, finance charges and of course the cost of the vehicle. If you do not have this, you may not have any recourse or proof if they demand money in excess of what you agreed to.
All used cars depreciate over time and even more so if they have been in an accident of some sort. A shrewd buyer will ask for the VIN or vehicle identification number and find out the details of the car’s history via a service like CARFAX. Review the information you have on hand. If the car has been in an accidents and been repaired then you must carefully analyze the possible risks and rewards of purchasing it. If you decide on purchasing any vehicle, ensure that you test drive it before agreeing to buy it. Where possible, have a mechanic or someone with that kind of expertise take a look at the vehicle to verify that it is in the condition you expect.
There are neutral third-party companies that offer this for those that buy a car on eBay and actually go out and test drive and inspect the car for you.
Usually when selling valuable merchandise, a person will price it above what they’re looking to get. Don’t forget this. In fact, some simply price it way above the value to see what they can get out of unaware buyers. Always try to negotiate the price once you have become familiar with the details of the vehicle. Find out what the market value is and compare it to what is being asked. Try to get the seller to agree to a price closer to the going value of the car, so long as it is still affordable for you. Remember, you will likely try to sell that car one day and it will value even less at that time than it does now. Buying a car is a big step for anyone, especially so when buying a used car. Following advice from those who have experience can help. Tips can also be found in buyer guides provided by organizations such as the Federal Trade Commission and on sites such as Automotive.com and MotorTrend.com. Take the needed steps to be informed and ensure that your buying experience is a good one. Enjoy the benefits of purchasing your car, and have fun!