For most people, a car is the second most expensive purchase they will make in their lives, next to a house. While you can always find great bargains on new cars, it might be a smart financial move to purchase a slightly used car instead. Remember, a new car depreciates by thousands of dollars the moment you drive it off the lot. If you buy a car that is a couple of years old, it will still depreciate, but less quickly as the first owner already took the big initial hit.
Whether you plan to pay with cash upfront or use car financing, here are some things you should do before you buy a used vehicle:
1. Do your research
Make a list of things you want from a car. Think about if you want a big or small car and the features you can’t live without. When you have determined these things, do your research to see which car best suits your needs. Also, look at ads from varying dealerships to get an idea of what you should expect to pay for similar vehicles in your area.
2. Set a budget
Determine how much you can afford to spend on your purchase based on your financial situation. Your budget should include funds for the car as well as any taxes and fees plus the cost for inspection and minor repairs, if necessary. When you set your budget, do not allow a salesperson to persuade you to go beyond this limit to get a car you cannot afford. Never reveal your budget to the salesperson. This will give you more room to negotiate.
3. Check the car’s history
Before you purchase a used car, check the history to shed light on the details of the car’s life. You may read about the car’s history on sites such as CarProof and CarFax. You want to find a car that is only around 2 years old with less than 30,000 miles on it.
4. Test drive the vehicle
Always test drive a used car before you buy it. You should try to drive the vehicle in a variety of situations such as on the highway and up and down hills, for example. If you test drive the vehicle and anything seems off, do not be afraid to walk away.
5. Get a car inspection
When you plan to buy a used car, you must have the vehicle inspected by a trustworthy mechanic. While there are some things you may check for yourself, you will need a mechanic to look under the hood and run basic tests. It is also a good idea to buy a used car from a dealership that offers an extended warranty on certified used vehicles.
6. Always shop around
Never walk into a dealership or to a meeting with a private seller with the intention of purchasing the car that same day. If you are too eager, it could cause you to settle for a car that is not ideal or one that may have many issues down the line.
Do you need car financing to purchase a used car?
If you need to access car financing to purchase a used vehicle, Credit Now offers you the easiest way to get approved for the vehicle you want, regardless of your financial situation and credit background. So, contact us to speak with a member of our team today.