A Guide to Buying a Used Vehicle

There’s a reason why more people are currently trying to buy used cars than new ones. The reality is that used cars are not only more affordable, but they are often comparable to new cars in terms of performance.

However, this is only true if you purchase a good used car from a reputable supplier. So, how do you go about buying a used vehicle without getting ripped off?

Simple: you read this guide. In it, we’ll break down everything you need to know about buying a used car that will last for many years to come. Let’s get started!

Secure Your Financing First

Regardless of whether you’re buying a used vehicle with a lump sum, or with a loan, it’s important to secure your financing before you go into the dealer. This is important because it lets you decide how much you can afford to pay.

If you’re looking for a loan, then think about how many monthly payments will eat into your budget. It’s also important to shop around for the best interest rates options.

If you just go into the used car dealers’ lots and rely on them for financing, then you’ll be at the mercy of their potentially high-interest rates. As such, having a loan secured gives you options to negotiate for better terms.

If You Have a Car You Want, Then Know What It Costs

If you know what type of car you want, then look up the average market price before you go shopping. This will give you a sense of how much the vehicle typically costs when purchased. This is important because some types of dishonest sellers will try to push the car for much more than it’s worth.

If you know the typical price, then you can call these individuals out when they try to upsell you. In some cases, they might be willing to lower the price to meet the national average.

You should also take notice if a car is below the national average. In these circumstances, there might be something wrong with the car that warrants a price drop.

Decide Where You Want to Buy Your Used Car

There are three main options in terms of where you can buy a used car: from a dealer/garage/trader, privately, and auction. Most of the time, your best bet will be through a dealer/garage/trader.

These suppliers generally do a better job of inspecting their cars and giving them a fair price. Plus, they offer a level of expertise that’s hard to find anywhere else. For example, dealers like the Gates Auto Selection of Chevy: Used Cars will work with you to find exactly the type of car that you want.

Best of all, they won’t try and upsell you just so they can make a profit. You can purchase a car privately, either online or through someone you know. However, keep in mind that there’s a greater chance you could get ripped off.

The same goes for purchasing a used vehicle in an auction. You can still go with this option, but it will likely involve a more extensive vetting process to make sure the car meets your standards.

Inspect the Vehicle and Paperwork

Next, it’s time to inspect the vehicle. If you can, make sure you do this in the daylight out of the rain. A wet car tends to hide imperfections better than a dry one. If you know anything about cars, then you can also inspect the inside.

If you don’t, then you should ask the seller if they’ll allow you to get it inspected before buying. If they refuse, then this could be a red flag that they’re trying to sell you a car with a potential problem.

Alternatively, the seller could offer you proof that they got it inspected recently. You should also verify that the owner has all the relevant paperwork. This includes the title as well as its service logbook.

Take the Car On a Test Drive

After an inspection, it’s time to see how the car drives. During this test drive, you should check for basic flaws, like broken headlights, low tire pressure, or busted tail lights.

However, you should also pay attention to how it starts. When it’s running, listen for any potentially unusual sounds. Is the steering wheel hard to pull? Does smoke come out of the exhaust?

These are some signs that the vehicle might come with some hidden problems. If you still want the car, then you can try using these flaws to negotiate the price down to a more affordable level.

Finalize the Deal and Pay Off the Car

Finally, it’s time to pay for the car. When you’ve reached a good price make sure that you get the deal in writing. Each part should also walk away with a receipt of the transaction. This receipt should include info like:

  • Vehicle details
  • Price
  • Terms
  • Seller’s name, address, and phone number
  • Buyer’s name address and phone number

If you’re using a loan, then you will need to start making the monthly payments laid down by your lender.

Want More Content? Keep Reading

We hope this article gave you some helpful information for buying a used vehicle. As you can see, there are a lot of different steps to follow when purchasing a car.

However, these steps are all essential, especially if you’re buying used. While new cars might be exponentially more expensive you do get a guarantee that everything is in working condition.

Sadly, the guarantee doesn’t extend to used cars. As such, if you want to make sure you’re getting a good deal, then you’ll need to put in the effort to verify the car’s condition before you purchase it.

That way, you can get as much life out of the vehicle as possible. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.

Written by Faraz Butt


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