Purchasing a used car rather than a new one is an excellent way to save money, but not if you end up getting a lemon. If you wish to save money with a used car, you will need to know what to search for and what steps to take. This article serves as the ultimate used car buying guide, with vital steps at each step of the process– from exploring makes and models to assessing recall information to driving off the lot.
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Easy Tips for a Painless Used Car Buying Experience
The experts agree that buying a used car instead of a new one is an excellent way to save money and enhance your financial stability. When you choose used rather than brand new you can free yourself from high car payments and allow somebody else to take the hit on vehicle depreciation. If you know how to shop and have some money lying around, you might even have the ability to prevent a car payment entirely.
If you’re in the market for new wheels, then you may intuitively understand that purchasing a used vehicle is the ideal thing to do, but placing that instinct into action isn’t a simple thing to do. How do you know the car you’re buying will be reliable, or it is free from hidden flaws and potential dangers? If you wish to take the pain and uncertainty out of purchasing a used car, you want to plan carefully, beginning with the hints given below.
Before You Start Shopping
It’s essential to be prepared, which means checking things out before you begin shopping. Here’s what you must do before you set foot onto the neighborhood used car lot.
- Find out more about the lemon laws and consumer protection measures on your state.
- Check local car lots at the Better Business Bureau and other consumer protection sites.
- Determine how much you can afford to spend.
- Consider the types of vehicle you require, i.e. car, truck, minivan, SUV.
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Do Your Homework
It’s important to do your homework when You start shopping for a used car. Below are a few of the things you will need to do before you go out.
- Locate a trusted friend who will accompany you and help you assess prospective used cars.
- Do some basic research about recalls, such as lists of affected makes and models.
- Contact your lender and ask about used auto loan prices.
- Make a list of local used car lots, including locations and hours of operation.
- Go online to search for lists of available cars and costs.
- Make a list of those vehicles that you want to check and drive when you start hitting used car lots.
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When it’s time to begin shopping, you want to be prepared. Taking a couple of preparatory steps now can help save you plenty of money and time later. Here are some crucial measures to take.
- Program the safercar.gov site on your phone.
- Contact your friend and schedule a time to go shopping.
- If you want, you can look up pricing information on the internet as you shop.
- Make a list of must-have attributes before you start shopping. Compare those must-have attributes against every vehicle you intend to check and drive.
- Spend some time browsing the lot before seeking a salesperson out. Bring your list of potential vehicles along, and try to not get sidetracked.
- Visually inspect each vehicle before you take a test-drive. Can you see evidence of leaking fluids under the car? Are there mismatches from the paint color that could indicate a past accident or shoddy repair work?
Read also: How to Check If Your Car Has Been Recalled
On the Road
The test drive is your opportunity to take a look at the vehicle and see whether it’s worthy of your purchase. Don’t squander this chance – take the time to do the following:
- You need a quiet environment so you can listen for strange noises.
- Listen for squeaks, squeals and other odd sounds as you test-drive the car.
- Accelerate fast, and then press on the brakes hard to test stopping distance and vehicle alignment. Make certain to get this done in a safe way.
- Change lanes quickly when it’s safe to do so. Note how the vehicle handles during an emergency lane change.
- If you can’t do your test drive at night, park in a shaded area and inspect the headlights.
- Write down the vehicle identification number (VIN) at the conclusion of the test drive.
- Look around the engine and drivetrain. This will help you discover things such as leaking petroleum, a blown transmission or a poor cooling system.
Also Read: Mechanic Rip Off Report
After the Test Drive
It’s simple to make a snap decision when shopping for a used car, especially once you find a car you love. You could live to regret such a rash decision, and there’s plenty left to do once you’ve exited the dealer lot. Here are the steps you want to take following the test drive.
- Pull a vehicle history report on the vehicle using the VIN you listed earlier.
- Check again for any recalls or safety bulletins.
- Consult with your buddy about the status of the car and their opinion.
- Ask your mechanic to give the vehicle a once-over.
- If necessary, confirm your loan eligibility based on the asking price.
- Contact your insurance company to get a quote on policy.
- Negotiate a reasonable price with the automobile dealer.
- Arrange to have the name transferred to your name.
- Drive off happy, knowing that you have an excellent deal.
Purchasing a used car doesn’t need to be a crapshoot. If you know which steps to take a what to look for, you can walk away with a wonderful deal and avoid the high cost and depreciation that includes purchasing a brand new car, truck, minivan or SUV.