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10 Tips for Buying a Great Used Car

January 2, 2018

10 Tips for Buying a Great Used Car

Buying a used car can save you a great deal of money. To get the best possible deal, you must do the necessary homework. Here are ten tips for buying a great used car.

 

1. Decide What You Can Afford

Before you even begin shopping for a vehicle, you must first develop a set budget. You don’t want to put yourself in a tight financial situation. If you have saved up enough money, you may be able to pay for the vehicle in cash.

 

2. Narrow Your Choices Down to Two or Three Dealerships

Going from one dealership to the next in search of used cars can become quite frustrating. By narrowing your choices down to just a few dealerships, you’ll be able to save a great deal of time and effort.

 

3. Decide What Kind of Vehicle You’re Interested in

Make it a priority to decide what kind of vehicle suits you the best. You can gain a good idea by browsing the dealer’s inventory and other third-party sites such as KBB. You will see what’s available in your area, and compare pricing online before hitting the showroom floor.

4. Talk to Your Insurance Company

The cost of your insurance premium is directly impacted by the type of vehicle you choose. Typically, automobiles with strong safety scores are less expensive to insure. Safety innovations, such as anti-lock disc brakes and rear-view cameras, can undoubtedly decrease your premium. Your insurance company will help guide you in the right direction. Obtaining a quote usually only takes a few minutes.

 

5. Discuss with Your Bank About Financing

While some dealerships offer in-house financing, it is still a good idea to also check with your bank or credit union. You never know for sure which source will provide the best rates. Of course, the primary objective is to spend less money as possible.

 

6. Schedule an Appointment for a Test Drive

Like many people, you probably don’t have a lot of extra time to spare. Scheduling a test drive in advance will make your entire car-buying experience more rewarding. Once you can locate a good used car, simply give the dealership a call. By calling ahead, you can also verify the availability of the car. Many times, dealers are slow to remove inventory from their websites. This one step will save a lot of friction between you and the dealer.

 

 7. Ask the Dealer About Repairs They’ve Made

Before purchasing used cars, you should gather plenty of background information. It’s a good idea to inquire about any repairs or reconditioning the dealer has made. A vehicle history report gives buyers an additional peace of mind. You certainly want to know if the vehicle was involved in an accident or had prior damage such as flooding or a reconditioned title. This is also the time to ask about remaining factory warranties and see what warranties the dealers might offer.

 

 8. Negotiate a Deal

Buying a used car requires you to hone your negotiating skills. An online pricing tool such an Auto Trader "trade in market place" is a valuable resource that you should utilize. Car buyers can use it to find out the car’s actual market value. Don't be afraid to walk away from a deal that doesn't meet your expectations.

 

9. Obtain a Third-Party Inspection

Nothing beats being able to purchase with confidence. Although the vehicle may perform well during your initial test drive, getting a third-party inspect will rule out any potential problems. An experienced automotive mechanic can quickly determine the vehicle’s overall condition. Furthermore, always ask about the factory warranty. The extra coverage is bound to benefit you overall.

 

10. Finalize the Paperwork

The ability to locate good used car is only one aspect of the process. Don’t rush to sign your name on the dotted line. Take a good look at all the paperwork. Compare your financing to what is available from the dealership. Inquiring about additional warranties on used cars is smart. There are a lot of options so don't let the dealer force there's on you. Most insurance carriers now offer extended warranties as do banks and credit unions. Compare the price, the deductible amount, and the term.