Tuesday 16 January 2024

Practical Tips For Buying A Used Car

Image Credit: Pexels

{This is a collaborative post}

If you are considering buying a used car, then you are not alone. In 2022, over 36 million used cars were sold through private-party and dealership channels, which is no surprise since it is the easiest way to save money on a vehicle purchase. New cars depreciate quickly as soon as you drive them off the showroom, losing a significant portion of their value in the first few years. When you buy a used car, the previous owner bears the brunt of the depreciation, and you benefit by paying far less than the original owner. This article highlights the processes involved in purchasing a used car. 

  1. Set a car-buying budget you can afford 

Determining your budget for purchasing a used vehicle involves more than just looking for a car, truck, or SUV with a monthly payment that fits your budget. You must consider the overall cost of ownership, including the cost of interest on the car loan, insurance, parking fees, and maintenance. Striking a balance between the purchase price and the cost of ownership is essential. While buying an older vehicle may seem like an excellent way to save money, it also increases the likelihood of costly repairs. You don’t want to be stuck with a car that requires frequent fixing, which may result in missing an important meeting or weekend getaway. 

Thankfully, there are more resources available today than ever before for used car buyers to learn about repair costs, recurring problems, and reliability. Many review websites provide valuable information on certified pre-owned warranty coverage, average costs for common repairs, and predicted reliability ratings. Additionally, you can also check dedicated owners’ platforms to learn about the common issues and problems with specific car models. Additionally, it is important to consider the cost of car insurance, as prices can vary significantly based on the vehicle model you choose. 

  1. Check the vehicle history report 

It is crucial to obtain a vehicle history report unless you are purchasing the car from someone you trust, like a family member or a close friend. Several online companies like Experian AutoCheck can give you this information, and they can provide essential details about the car’s history. These reports can reveal if it has a salvage title, which means it was deemed a total loss by an insurance company, or if the odometer has been rolled back. To obtain this information, you will need the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). In some cases, you may only need the vehicle’s license plate number. Almost all major car dealers offer these statement reports for free if they have the vehicle in their inventory. It is important to get a vehicle history report as soon as possible because you will want to know about any issues before making a purchase. Once the sale has been completed, you may choose to change the number plates for something more personal. You can find private number plates for sale online or from accredited dealers in your area. 

  1. Get in touch with the seller 

Before rushing to see your prospective car, it's a good idea to contact the seller first. This will allow you to form a cordial relationship and confirm the information provided about the vehicle. You can ask the sellers about the reason for selling the car and whether there are any mechanical issues. Similarly, if you're buying from a dealer, a phone call or text message can help confirm that the vehicle is still available for purchase.

When you communicate with the seller, they might reveal some information that wasn't included in the ad, which could influence your decision to buy the car. To ensure that you don't miss any critical information, consider going through a used car questionnaire as a reminder of what to ask. While it may be tempting to negotiate the price before seeing the car, it's better to wait. Once you inspect it, you can base your offer on its actual condition.

  1. Take a test drive 

Before taking the car for a spin, it is crucial to ensure that the vehicle is the right fit for you. Check if the seats are comfortable, the controls are easy to use, and the car’s size suits your needs. While test driving, keep an eye out for any visible smoke from the exhaust, unusual vibrations, or burning fluid odours. After the drive, inspect underneath the car for any greasy leask. Keep in mind that there might be a clear water pool underneath if the air conditioning was on, which is normal.

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