Buying a used car has a lot of advantages. The biggest one is that it is cheaper. Vehicles have a high depreciation value. The moment they roll out of the lot, their price drops by as much as 15%. That also means most of the depreciation has already happened when you purchase a used car.
Another advantage is avoiding exaggerated fees associated with purchasing a brand-new vehicle. That includes delivery charges and dealer preparation fees.
Some used cars can also come with the original warranty in place. If not, you can check reviews of extended car warranty providers, including Endurance warranty reviews, for second-hand vehicles.
There are certainly several advantages to purchasing used vehicles instead of a new one. But it is more challenging. The last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on a car that does not work.
To get the best value for a second-hand car, follow these tips.
Choose Where to Buy
Know where to buy your car first. You generally have two options here: a used car lot or buy directly from someone selling.
Going to a used car lot, you have to know what you are looking for. They have a variety of options here that you can get confused about. Salespeople can pick up on that and confuse you even more to their benefit.
Prices from used car dealers can be higher, too. But they are a one-stop shop. They can offer vehicle financing and even car insurance. If you want to buy a used car with less hassle, then a dealer is the way to go. Dealerships have established a reputation and are transparent. Plus, you have somewhere to go if something is wrong with the used car.
On the other hand, you have the option to find sellers yourself through Craigslist, eBay, online marketplaces, and classified ads.
The price usually is lower this way. You also get to deal with the seller, who can directly tell you about the vehicle.
However, you have to know what you are doing this way. You will need to take care of the different paperwork yourself, including financing and insurance.
In short, if you want a hassle-free shopping experience, a used car dealer is the better option. If you want the best price and direct approach, look for a seller through various platforms.
Do a Test Drive
Once you have a car in your sights, ask if you can do a test drive. Sharpen your senses during this time. The goal is to look for any problems with the car’s performance, handling, and comfort.
Get a good feel as you drive around. Test it in various situations, such as cruising speed, parking, and turning. Look for any abnormal noises when you hit the gas and brake. See if you are comfortable in all aspects and if the car is responding as expected.
An often-overlooked part during a test drive is the dash. Check the dashboard lights if they turn on and stay on.
Take this time to test the different components and tech. These include connecting your phone via Bluetooth, power windows, push-to-start button, and others.
Check the Interior and Exterior
Inspect both the interior and exterior of the car thoroughly. Minor scratches and dents are okay as long as you do not see them from a mile away. Red flags include rust and damage to the exterior.
Check the body panels if they are all aligned. If not, that could mean the car has been in an accident. Take the time to open and close all doors and the trunk to see if they are working properly.
Inside, you want to look at the upholstery and overall condition of the features. Get in the driver’s seat and close the door to feel the interior. A strange smell can be an indication of a leak or water damage.
Get a Professional Inspection
You can only do so much when inspecting a car. Once you have a car you are ready to purchase, ask if you can have it inspected by a professional. Talk to a professional mechanic outside of the dealer or seller. That way, you know you are getting an honest opinion.
Nothing beats a thorough check by a professional. Provided with the car’s history, the mechanic knows what to look for and gives you all the details you need before you make the final offer.
While hiring a professional mechanic to do this is an added cost on your part, it is highly recommended. You never know what a pro will find. If the mechanic says the car is in good working order, that is a load off your shoulders.
Once you buy the car, you can continue working with the same mechanic for regular check-ups and repairs since he or she already knows the vehicle.
Buying a used car can be very exciting. There are so many choices out there. The possibilities are endless. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle, though
Know what you want even before getting into negotiations. You can focus on your requirements and not get distracted by anything else.
Buying a used car can be a challenge. But it can be rewarding too.