Buying a car is an exciting experience, but if it’s a used car you are after then you have to keep a few things in mind. Just shopping for cheap used cars isn’t usually enough, as there should be a number of other factors you take into consideration. We’ve put together a cheat sheet of sorts that you can refer to as you shop for the perfect used car.
Set Your Budget in Advance
Because your budget is probably a very big deciding factor, it’s important to figure it out in advance. Figure out what you can afford as a monthly payment if you are taking out a loan, or how much you can afford to pay up front. You may want to speak to your financial advisor to help you set the budget. Once your budget is set, it’s important you stick to it! It’s very easy to be swayed by sales people, so this is when you need to be strong. Make your budget clear to the sales person from the start, and let them know you aren’t willing to go above it.
Do Some Research
Next you’ll want to do a little research on your own where pricing is concerned. Start looking around at various prices so you get an idea of how much it should cost. This will ensure you don’t end up over-paying for a vehicle!
Take it for a Test Drive
Under no circumstances should you purchase a used car if you aren’t allowed to take it for a test drive. You need to know how it handles and performs. It’s a good idea to take it on different types of roads with different speed limits too. Be sure your test drive is long enough to give you a true feeling for the vehicle. It is recommended you take it out for no less than 45 minutes.
Do a Sight Inspection
It’s also important to do a sight inspection of the vehicle during daylight hours. Look for signs of rust, damage, and potential problems. You should inspect the exterior, interior, and under the hood. This should be done at your leisure without feeling pressure to hurry up.
Research the Dealership
Another tip is to research the dealership that you will be purchasing the vehicle from. You want to be sure they stand behind their vehicles and are an honest business.
Check if there is Warranty
Just because you are buying a used vehicle doesn’t mean there is no warranty. Some cars may still have the manufacturer’s warranty left on it, which you should be aware of. If not, the dealership may offer its own warranty package that you can look into.
Being Prepared Pays Off
Where used car shopping is concerned, it definitely pays to be prepared. The sales person will immediately recognise that they are dealing with an informed consumer, which means you will be more likely to walk away with a deal you are happy with.