Although buying a used car can be a smart move, do your due diligence to ensure you don’t end up with a lemon.
Regardless of whether you are going to buy it from a private seller or a dealership, arm yourself with knowledge.
So, before considering a great deal on a used car, there are a few things you need to take into account. Here are the things you need to do when buying a used vehicle.
1. Establish what you need and do your research
The first thing you need is to establish what you want from a vehicle. It includes things such as how many occupants it supports and if you need a small or large vehicle. Basically, these are the most important features for you.
The research entails finding vehicles that fit your needs and their prices. Check out Kelley Blue Book. It is a remarkable resource for that. Before setting foot on a lot, review classified ads to get an idea of what is available and cost.
2. Have a budget
Having a budget is the only way to ensure a persuasive salesperson won’t persuade you beyond a certain price point. A price range lets you narrow down your search and allows you to negotiate a comfortable price.
The budget should also include funds for small repairs and vehicle inspection. Don’t share your budget with the seller or dealer. Instead, wait for the seller to make an offer.
3. Get a vehicle history report
Getting a vehicle history report gives you access to important details about the car. For instance, a license plate lookup car in VinPit provides a comprehensive report for a used car.
The report lets you know if the car has a worrisome history such as being involved in an accident. Best of all, you get to know if the car was written off and the vehicle titles.
4. Consider your financing options
In case you are not planning on buying the car with cash, consider financing options outside the dealership. For instance, you may get a great rate on an auto loan from a credit union. Also, you may request quotes from several places.
As well, you can talk to potential lenders about the cars you are considering and your budget.
5. Test drive the car
Testing the vehicle to see how it drives is another important part of purchasing a used car. Try as much as possible to test it on various situations including highway, offroad, and up and down hills.
If something is off or the car is uncomfortable, feel free to walk away.
6. Get it inspected
It is advisable to have a trustworthy mechanic when purchasing a used car. Although you can get an online report on your own, you will need a skilled mechanic to look under the car. Also, a mechanic can run some basic tests.
This is a necessary step even if the seller claims the vehicle doesn’t have major issues or mechanical defects. A comprehensive inspection lets you verify if the car is in good shape.
7. Be ready to walk away
When you visit the dealership or the private seller do not be too eager to buy the used car that day. It is one way of eliminating pressure on yourself and protecting you from an offer you are not comfortable with.
This way, you won’t settle for a used car that may cause more issues down the road. Regardless of how good the deal appears, be ready to shop around. Buying a vehicle is not a one-day activity.
8. Negotiate a good deal
If you already have a plan and a budget, you won’t have to worry about talking numbers. You can get a good deal fast and easily. Although you already have a budget in mind, do not start the discussion with your number.
To get started, make an opening offer below your maximum budget but within the average price based on your price research. Let them know you have done your research on popular online auto dealers to support your offer.
When both of you agree on a price that suits you two, chances are you will be in good shape. Keep in mind that the seller probably hates negotiating even if it is their job.
9. Handle paperwork
A dealership will require you to sign a contract. Also, they may offer extra items like warranty, fabric protection, anti theft devices, or prepaid service plans.
If the used vehicle is still under warranty by the manufacturer, you may not need an extended warranty. Review the dealership contract thoroughly.
In case you purchase a used car from an individual owner, ensure the seller properly transfers the title to you. Ensure you close the deal correctly to eliminate any after-sales hassles.
Before transferring funds, ask for the title and let the seller or dealer sign it over to you. Regardless of whether you buy from a dealership or a private seller, ensure you have car insurance before driving it away.
Purchasing a used car can be a hassle. However, when you understand the process, it can be a breeze. In this guide, we shared what you need to do when purchasing a used car.
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