With the steady rise in new car prices, purchasing a used car may be your best option. Before you go out and make that purchase, there are a few things you need to know. In this article I will give you tips on how to buy a used car and also to determine if buying a used car is your best option.
Best Kept secrets to buying a used car:
- You need to first determine if it’s better to keep the car you own now. Most cars, properly maintained, will last 200,000 miles or more. If your car is in good shape and well-maintained, you may want to keep it. Afterall, it’s paid for, and the cost of preventive maintenance is less than buying a new or used car.
- Check your budget. While used cars are generally less expensive than new cars, you still want to make sure you stay within your budget.
- Do your homework. There are a lot of options when it comes to buying a used car. With the internet at your fingertips, it’s easy to do your research on pricing and information on different makes and models.
- Stick to as new a car as possible. Buying an older car with over 100,000 miles is usually not the best choice for the money. I strongly urge that if you are planning on buying a used car, it should be a few years old and under 75,000 miles. Even better, buy a used car that is still under the factory warranty.
- Buy from a reputable dealer. You will spend more money for a used car from either a new-car dealership or a used car lot. However, these companies have to meet certain standards. Plus, for vehicles under 100,000 miles, they are required to have some kind of warranty on the vehicles they’re selling.
- Avoid private deals. I would be very cautious with buying a used car from your neighbor or one found online. With a private sale, the seller has no obligation to offer any type of warranty and essentially, it’s “Buyer Beware” and the sale is “As Is Condition.”
- Consider a Pre-Purchase Inspection: If you really want to purchase a used car from a private person, I recommend bringing the used car to a professional to have a pre-purchase inspection done. A professional auto repair shop can identify problems that the average person cannot. The money you spend on a pre-purchase inspection may end up saving you a fortune.
- Always test drive any car you intend to purchase. Different car makes have a different feel to it and you need to be comfortable behind the wheel.
- Be careful when considering an extended warranty. It’s best to speak with your automotive professional before you buy any extended warranty contract. Your automotive pro can read the fine print and let you know if the warranty is the right one for you, or a waste of money.
- If at all possible, don’t lease a used car. The only time you should consider leasing a used car is if it is still under the factory warranty. If it isn’t, the potential costs of a major repair will be your responsibility, which means paying for a major, costly repair on a car that you do not own.
I hope these tips are helpful. Buying a used car does have its advantages. With a little due diligence, your used car purchase will give you years of reliable service and enjoyment!