So why buy a used car? Buying a new car is excellent, but any car’s value depreciates fast the minute you started it. With that said, buying a used car enables you to save thousands of dollars by allowing the first owner to use it for the first few years as it depreciates the car’s value. But you have to be smart to pick the right used car that’s reliable and still in excellent condition – all that at a fraction of the cost. Also, buying a used car may put some value to your wallet, although it can get risky at times, especially that most used cars don’t hold factory warranties. In that case, we hope that this guide for buying used cars can help. This guide comes with eight straightforward steps that you can follow.
Step 1: Set a Budget
The very first thing to consider when buying a used car is to set up a budget. To conclude on how much money you should spare, you have to think of what type of vehicle you should own. You’ll find that picking the right type of car for you can be complicated. To help you out with this, think of a type of car you want to own – sedan, SUV, truck, etc. – and research on the average prices for each type of car.
It’s no secret that older used cars have lower prices than younger ones. But if you think it may be a reasonable move to buy one, think about the expensive repairs you’ll be having in the future. So when choosing the price, you have to choose a car that can perform without the occasional hinges and still be within your budget at the same time.
Step 2: Create Your List of Used Cars
Now that you have set a budget, now it’s time to create a list of cars you are analyzing. There are several car models out there that are known for their excellent performance even when used for a few years. But these car models are most likely to be expensive than the usual. So make sure that your list of cars consists of multiple brands. If you already have three cars on your list, that’s already good enough. That is, as long as they’re still on the limits of your budget.
Step 3: Choose an Auto Financing Option
Now, this step is optional. Unless you already have enough cash on hand to buy a used car right away, you must follow this step. There are a couple of financial aids available for you to apply for. However, you have to understand how these auto financing processes first. To help you out on this one, please read this article we made on how to finance a used car.
Step 4: View the Vehicle History Report
It’s a different case if it is your friend’s or family’s car you’re going to buy. For that one, perhaps you don’t have to question much about the car’s history. However, what you’re trying to acquire is a stranger’s car, you don’t have its history and information. To make sure that the car’s tiptop condition is on paper, check the vehicle’s history report. If the car has a bad history report, then at least you know when to dodge a very pricey bullet.
Step 5: Build a Rapport with the Seller
When your prospective car’s history report is good, it’s time to call the seller. Build a good rapport with them and ask valuable questions about the car you want to buy. Most of the time, sellers don’t put most of the car’s information, so make sure to ask a lot of questions, including the dealer’s asking price.
Step 6: Come Prepared
Here’s a crucial part on this guide for buying used cars. Now that you’ve already set your eyes on a used car, it’s time to prepare all the necessary documents. The documents you need may either be for buying a car or applying for an auto financing loan. Apart from the obvious documents and information, when you’re going to apply for a loan, you must have your credit scores and report ready. Credit scores are important because that’s where the lenders base whether you are qualified for a loan and how much interest they should give you. The better the credit score, the better.
Step 7: Test the Car
Now it’s time to go and see the car for yourself. Sellers, more often than not, allow you to take the car for a spin and let you analyze whether the ride is smooth enough for you or not. Things to consider are the following; seats, legroom, brakes, AC, and the engine, among others. After the drive around, ask the dealer for the car’s service records. This is the document that records down the number of times the car has gone for a maintenance check.
Step 8: Finish off with the Papers
And the last step on this guide for buying cars is to seal the deal. When you’re sold with the car, you can now finalize things with your dealer and sign the contract in the finance and insurance office. In there, you would also be offered more items for your car, such as warranties, plans, and car devices. These items are something that you may want to provide more peace of mind.