Vehicles are large investments for any family whether you are purchasing a used or a new car. Buying a used vehicle can be a daunting task to an uneducated person. If you spend the time to research and make sure you know what you are doing, it can be a fun and exciting process. Here are 10 tips to help you get the best deal on your used vehicle.
1. Know What You Can Afford
Your car loan is not something you want to add stress to your family. Most people who take out loans try to keep their total vehicle loan at less than 20% of their pay. Remember that purchasing a car does not end at the dealership, you will have to maintain your new vehicle with oil changes, tires, insurance and fuel.
2. Research Before You Test-Drive
Making a list of the cars you are interested in will save time when you arrive at the dealership. When trying to save money, look into several different makes and models to find the perfect fit.
3. Compare Prices
Not all used cars come from used car dealerships. Check out independent car lots, new car dealerships, and CarMax. Make sure you are getting the best deal for your money and check around before settling on a price.
4. Find Cars Close By
Finding cars in your current area will help you save money for transfer fees or the gas money to get to a lot that is far away. Check your local paper or social media site for cars for sale in your community. Research to find a Carvana or CarMax near your home for convenient shopping.
5. Know The Vehicle You Are Buying
Take the time to look over the vehicle history report so you are aware of previous issues other owners have faced with that car. If there are a lot of maintenance issues with that particular vehicle, you might consider purchasing something else to help keep your costs associated with your vehicle down.
6. Talk To The Salesman
Build a relationship with your seller so you can get all of the information you need and save as much money as possible. Sellers might be more likely to tell you information about the car you otherwise wouldn’t know by simply reading the ad.
7. Take It For A Test Drive
You never want to purchase a car without taking it for a spin first to see how it drives. Try to schedule your test driving appointment during the daytime so you can fully see the condition of the car.
8. Have An Inspection
Invest about $100 into your vehicle and have a professional mechanic inspect the car to make sure there aren’t any hidden issues you might not have noticed in your research or test drive.
Go in with your plan in mind, value the car and the condition and make a deal based on what you think the car is worth. Knowing what you are willing to spend before you talk prices will help get this process started. Never start offering at the high end of your budget, instead start with a low price and work from there.
10. Prepare For A Lot of Paperwork
Like any large investment, you are going to have to spend some time going over paper work. Plan ahead and know that this is usually not a quick process and can take anywhere from 4-5 hours from the time you arrive at the dealership to the time you drive home in your new (to you) car.