When you’re buying a car, whether used or new, it’s important to do your homework and be prepared. There are a number of considerations you need to make before getting out there and prospecting for your vehicle. Ideally, you’ll want to have some idea of what you want, your price range and a general time frame of when you’d like to officially take ownership. It can be an exciting and often frustrating process, but it’s usually all worth it in the end! Let’s take a look at the checklist of things you need to think about before buying a used car.
Decide on A Budget
Your budget is a very important part of the equation. If you have an idea of what you’re willing to spend, you’re one step closer to finding the user car you want. There are obviously various that you need to consider here including your current income, how long you intend to own the car, how often you’ll use it and the potential for resale. Obviously, no one knows your financial situation better than you so it’s really a decision you have to make alone. What are the available car finance deals or solutions? Will you need to take out a loan to afford it? Can you afford monthly repayments? How long will it take you to pay off the loan? What about insurance? These are questions you need to be asking yourself.
Get A Good Sense of The Market
Arguably the most important aspect of buying a used car for the budget conscious shopper is having a generally understanding of how far your dollar goes in the market. The way to do this is quite simply to shop around. Check multiple websites and even car dealers to get an idea of what kind of car you can afford with your budget. This obviously includes the type of car - whether that be sedan, SUV, hatchback, truck, etc. - the year, model, mileage and condition. If you have a general idea of what your money gets you, you’ll be in a much better position to bargain with sellers and get a better deal.
Establish What Car You’re Looking For
When it comes to buying a used car, indecision is never your friend. Do your research, figure out what you’re after according to your price range, tastes and reviews online, which can be a very helpful resource.
That said, the used car market can be a cruel mistress; often the model and make that you’re after won’t be easy to find, may be out of your budget or you might just not find a good deal on it.
That’s why often times it’s a good idea to be open to a few different options, rather than having your heart set on just one. You might, for example, be open to checking out Toyota, Mitsubishi or Kia used cars of a certain make, and if you find one for a good price, you can bargain and buy with confidence that you’re getting what you want.
Test Driving and Checking Vehicle History is Crucial
It goes without saying that you need to test drive the car, if possible in various conditions before making the purchase. Don’t be afraid to request to the seller if you can take the car around the block on numerous days before making your decision, and remember to test it at different speeds and road conditions and under several criteria if you can. Before making the purchase. You should also check the vehicle history and maintenance records, which the seller should be able to provide. If they are unable to provide this, be very aware! Lastly, searching online can provide you with other details on the vehicle that the seller - in rare cases - may be trying to keep hidden, including major accidents.
Keep these things in mind when shopping for a used car and you’ll be well on your way to making a great purchase that is right for you. Remember that there are a number of additional considerations you need to make when going through the process, always be careful and practice common sense! We’d highly recommend having a third party professional check over any used car you’re looking to purchase, for example. Good luck out there!