Buying a used car can save you a lot of money. It’s generally much cheaper than buying a new car. However, understanding a few tips will help make the most of your used car purchase:
1. Find out what the vehicle is worth
The first thing to understand is that both parties in a deal will be trying to get an advantage. The person selling the car wants to get as much on the sale as possible. Meanwhile the person buying the used car wants to pay as little as possible. This conflict means that it’s imperative for someone buying a used car to come into the deal with an informed opinion. One can get a good idea of a reasonable price by looking into vehicle pricing guides. This will allow one to work with a number of variables to discover the average market price. People should pay careful attention to the used car’s year,make,model,special features, mileage and condition.
2. Take a test drive
It’s easy for a car to look great on paper but not hold up in real world tests. Likewise, a car might not seem that great on paper but it might perform quite well on the road. The only way to be sure of how well a car performs is to actually drive it. It’s a good idea to concentrate on two particular usage scenarios. One should begin by paying close attention to anything odd about the driving experience. The radio should be off and conversation kept to a minimum. During this period one should pay careful attention to any odd noises from the car or anything which simply feels off. Next, the potential buyers can drive the car as they normally would while still paying attention to anything which might seem off.
3. Get a pre-purchase inspection
The experts are always going to be able to spot issues which are invisible to the average person. Having an expert go over the used car before the sale will ensure that there aren’t any hidden surprises. Sometimes the person selling the car might not be aware of any hidden problems. In this case one can often negotiate the price down by a significant percentage.
4. Get a VIN Check
A car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, will reveal some important details about it. One of the most important points is that one can be assured that the car wasn’t stolen. However, the current status of a car goes far beyond that. One can also be assured that the car wasn’t reported as salvage or branded. Basically, this means that the car wasn’t reported as damaged beyond the point where it could be considered safe to drive.
5. Get the history
The car’s VIN will also allow one to learn a lot about the car’s history. Again, one should be wary of any car which has suffered a significant amount of damage before the sale. The pre-purchase inspection should have cleared any pressing matters. But if the VIN shows a history of severe damage, while the inspection comes up clean, one should ask about the state of its repairs. One should also double check information such as the odometer status. Setting an odometer back is a trick almost as old as the entire concept of selling a used car. Looking into the car’s history will help ensure this doesn’t happen. The reports will also show how many times the car has been sold. A long history doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with the car. But it is something one should discuss before purchase.