Used car buying tips

It goes without saying that buying a used car can have much more pitfalls than buying a new one from a dealership. Everyone who is intending to get a second-hand vehicle should be aware of those questions which just must be asked not to be mistaken. Of course, when buying a used car, it’s necessary to be very careful; but at the same time keep in mind that purchasing a used vehicle which has been well looked after and  cared for is very wise and can save you much money.

The main points for consideration are:

1. New or used car?

Buying a used car really saves your money. A new vehicle deprecates very quickly and in 3-5 years it costs only about 60-70% of the original price. When purchasing a new car, you pay too much money for its freshness and warranty. A new vehicle is often not a perfect one as there can be a lot of problems with poor design or manufacturing defects. Another advantage of buying a used car is that you can buy a model that you might not be able to afford had you bought a new car.

2. Legal ownership

Without any doubt you should carefully check a car’s history record.  This will help you to eliminate at least a half of future potential problems. Don’t even look into the car without checking its history. The best you can do is to bring the car to the mechanic you trust for an inspection. Never give a deposit before the car is inspected.

Be extremely careful when doing the paperwork. If you buy from a private owner, make sure that there are no registered liens against the vehicle and that the person who signs the documents is the actual owner of the car.

If you buy from a dealer, check the warranty policy and all other papers very carefully.

3. Vehicle value and price.

Don’t try to get the cheapest car. A good car, even a used one, can not be cheap. Your aim is to look for a car in good condition for reasonable price. In this case you’ll be able to save money on repair. Don’t think that if the car is cheap the seller just doesn’t know its actual price. The seller knows everything perfectly; he just wants to get rid of old and shabby vehicle and get the money at the same time.

So, how to determine what price you should pay for a certain model? If you are not a specialist in car questions, you’d better ask for someone’s help. An expert will provide you with all necessary information.

4. Choose the right car.

You’ll never get a good deal if you don’t know exactly what you really want and need. Consider everything very carefully, take into account all factors. Do you need simple transportation to drive to work and back?  In this case a small Sedan will suit you. If you want a very economical car, then buy one with a small engine. If you want to use your car to tow a trailer, then you will have to consider a car with more powerful engine. When you made up your mind, investigate the market to see what models are available, and what fits into the price you can afford. This will narrow your search to only a dew models. Also consider carefully the insurance rates and coverage. The cost of insurance varies a lot depending on the make, year and model of the car, driver’s experience and many other factors. So we strongly recommend you to get insurance quotes before buying a car.

5. Mileage of the vehicle.

We don’t recommend buying vehicles with a very high mileage (155,000 miles). At the same time low mileage doesn’t mean that the car is good. When considering the ‘mileage’ count, it simply means that when choosing a car whether it has 60,000 or 80,000, it is not as important as the fact that it was well maintained and accident-free.

6. Check the car condition.

This doesn’t mean that if the car you are going to buy has four wheels and working engine it’s a good purchase. Make a good and careful inspection even if the seller is your best friend.

* Check the car’s surface for scrapes, flanks and dings. Any of these can show the careless attitude of the owner to his vehicle.
* Carefully investigate the wheelarches, doors, bumpers and tires.
* Look inside the car to check the interior condition. Like a child press all the buttons to check the electric work and listen out for any unusual noises on the test drive.
* Take a long test drive. Look, listen and smell for anything incorrect.

7. Where to buy a car?

Where you are going to get your used car depends greatly on how lazy you are. The more effort you put in the more you can save.

Buying from a dealer is easier but the prices are higher. There are however some more variants. Buying privately is generally the cheapest but of course, there are some greedy sellers whose prices are also very high.

Franchised dealers usually have newer cars with lower mileage. The prices however are also high. Independent dealers usually offer cars with more miles under the bumper, but here you can expect good quality, service and care as these dealers live by their reputation.  They are also more open to haggling.

Don’t forget to visit auctions. Here you can buy a reliable vehicle for a reasonable price.

8. Legal aspects of car purchasing.

Many questions may come up when buying a used car such as how to transfer the ownership, how to write a bill of sales, how to register the car from another state or province, what papers are required to register the vehicle, the owner’s and buyer’s responsibilities, etc. It’s difficult to give unified tips as each state may have different laws and requirements. So the best is to call to the local vehicle registration office or Department of Motor Vehicles, or legal authorities and ask for necessary information.

9. Consider the seller.

Make sure the sellers are who they say and you always meet them at their own home or business premises. In this way you can see whether the address on the registration certificate matches the address where you meet. Never meet with them at neutral location and be very careful if the seller gives you only the mobil phone number.

And remember, never pay any money until you are absolutely satisfied at the results of all the checks you have made.

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