Buying a used car can be a bit overwhelming – there are so many cars to choose from, and how do you know if you’re getting a good deal or are being taken for a ride? These tips for buying a used car can help ensure that your car buying experience is a positive one.
Know What You’re Looking For
Before you start car shopping, take some time to look into the makes and models of cars that could work for you. Read reviews of each car online, and check specifications like gas mileage and safety ratings to help rank the cars in an order of preference. Then, create a shopping list with the top three to five cars that you like the most. This will help you narrow your search for a used car. Premier Auto Outlet has many used cars and trucks and is one option to consider.
Know the Value
Once you have your car shopping list, get a sense for the value that a used car of each model can bring. A car’s value fluctuates based on factors like age, condition, and mileage, but having a basic used car value gives you a starting point to judge prices on. The Kelley Blue Book is an excellent resource for determining a car’s worth, and if you’re looking at a particular car, checking its asking price against the Kelley Blue Book value can help you determine whether the asking price is fair.
Start with the Vehicle History Report
Before you contact the seller of used cars, it’s a good idea to access the vehicle’s history report. There are many sources for vehicle history reports, but Carfax is one of the most common, and can supply you with the report instantly based on the vehicle’s VIN number. The vehicle history report is an asset to car buyers, since it reveals past issues, like failed inspections and past collisions, that could affect the car’s future use.
Test Drive and Get an Inspection
When you test drive a car that you’re interested in, drive with the windows open and the radio off to really listen to the engine. Be sure to drive the car over a variety of terrain and different conditions – if you’ll be driving steep hills or long highways on a daily basis, then take the car out on both. Listen carefully to how the car’s engine runs and pay attention to how the car shifts. If you or a friend are mechanically inclined, then look under the hood and crawl under the car to get a sense of its condition.
If at all possible, arrange to take the car to a mechanic to have it inspected. A mechanic can put a car up on a lift and go over it from top to bottom to get a sense of major issues or repairs that you might face if you purchase the car.
Once you’re certain that the used car is for you, then the only thing left to do is negotiate a little and seal the deal. Used car shopping can take some patience, but you can often get a great deal.