Advice for Buying a Used Car
Dan Levenson February 11, 2020
Every used car is different. It’s tough to know every mile a car has been through before it comes to you. Knowing what to look for in a used car is incredibly important, and it can save you a lot of money and inconvenience. Run a history report of any used car you are interested in purchasing. You’ll also want to make sure you have a reputable mechanic look at it to verify that you don’t have a “lemon.” But be aware that you can’t look at “lemon laws” as a guarantee of a reliable vehicle. Usually, lemon laws only apply to new vehicles. Because only a handful of states apply them to used vehicles, you need to definitely do your homework to see what it says about your state.
With all of that said, if you follow some general steps and guidelines for selecting a used car, you can find a very good deal. As Philip Reed writes for NerdWallet, vehicles are built to last these days, with vehicles going well past 100,000 miles before you ever notice any trouble. This means that there are a number of vehicles out there that may be a great fit for you. The following are a few pieces of advice you may want to follow to make sure you find a great one.
Don’t Go Straight to the Dealership
The idea that if a car is sold by a large dealership, there isn’t anything wrong with it is one myth that is absolutely wrong. You’ve got to do your homework no matter where you shop for a vehicle. While not all dealerships are out to sell you a lemon, they aren’t all perfect angels either. Spend some time first looking at classified ads online and in the newspaper. Some people are looking to take out the middle man to get more money in their pocket and save the buyer some in the process. Regardless of where you find a vehicle that interests you, make sure you get it checked out by a mechanic and run a check on the history first. These checks a highly important because once you’ve bought it, usually all sales are final.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Like so many other major purchases, sellers often leave some room for negotiation. As you get the car checked out, make note of everything. Research the Kelley Blue Book value of the vehicle, and make sure you discuss anything that is identified as not being in perfect condition on the vehicle. All of this needs to be a factor in the offer you make. Ultimately remember that there are plenty of cars out there for sale. If you can’t reach a fair term, you shouldn’t feel pressured, and should be willing to walk away from the deal.
Purchasing from Rental Companies
Not everyone likes the art of negotiation. Car rental companies may be a great option if you fit into that category. Rental cars are most often very well maintained and are never kept in service for more than a few years. This can allow you to get a very good deal for a vehicle in wonderful condition. These prices tend to be set in stone, so if you like what you see, the process should be very easy.
Avoid Dealer Financing
Dealer financing will very often result in paying a substantially higher interest rate. Research your financing options if you can’t pay for the vehicle at once and secure pre-approval before you find your vehicle. Pre-approval will let you know how much you can spend and what the interest will be ahead of time, based largely upon your credit score and history. Just remember when financing a vehicle that the value of the car will go down over time. For this reason, you will want to pay the vehicle off as soon as possible.
The suggestions above will help you if you are set on purchasing a used car. There are lots of opportunities to find a great vehicle at a great price if you are willing to do your research. If you’re interested in learning more about auto insurance for your used car, contact us today!