What You Need To Know Before Purchasing A Used Car

If you are in the market for a new car, you may be looking to lease or buy a used vehicle. While most used cars are in perfectly good shape, there are a few things to check out before you drive away in it.

Used Car Checklist

Used vehicles are often the way to go, as they tend to be cheaper than a brand new car. However, it’s always smart to get all the facts before you make the purchase, or sign the lease. Here are a few things to check out before you make a deal.

  • Set Your Price Range. If you have a budget make sure to stick to it. While it may be tempting to go higher, especially if you’re not finding a car you like, take your time to shop around. You can check around multiple dealerships, and even search online. Today there are many different resources you can take advantage of. Keep in mind also of how you’ll be financing your new vehicle. Is it out of pocket, or are you taking out a loan? This is helpful so that you can factor in any additional costs such as inspections, additional parts, or dealership fees.
  • Test Drive. Never purchase a vehicle without test driving it first, and not just a drive around the block. Slam on the brakes to be sure they have adequate stopping power, and see how quick the acceleration is. You might also request to take the test drive onto a nearby highway, and not just side streets. Try and get a feel for it in all driving environments.
  • Research. If you have time, research the type of car you are thinking of buying. How many miles do they typically last for? Are parts readily available? How do they do during inclement weather? Many of these facts will be easy to find online; however, you could also ask your dealer, or a trusted mechanic for more info.
  • What Suits Your Needs? If you have children you may want a larger vehicle, as opposed to a standard 4 door. Additionally, if you frequently haul equipment or large items you’ll want to consider towing power and space. Think about your personal needs and be sure your new vehicle can meet them.
  • Vehicle History. Most dealerships will be happy to show you the vehicle’s history. These reports will detail what parts have been replaced, and if there were any accidents or damage that may cause future issues. This potentially can be one of your biggest concerns. Keep in mind that even cars with good mileage could face issues from past damage. Don’t hesitate to ask for this report, and if needed ask for additional classification.
  • Inspection. As a buyer you’re entitled to ask for an inspection before you purchase a used vehicle. Depending on the seller this may cost extra, but it can be invaluable. This can alert you to any potential issues or things to look for in the future.
  • Negotiate. Some dealerships will give you a little leeway for negotiation when buying a used car. If anything, it’s worth a shot even if they’re unable to go any lower. You’ll never know if you don’t ask and give it a try.
  • Reviews. Today many things are available online, including reviews from consumers. See what other people are saying about the car you’re considering, and even what previous buyers have said about the dealership. This can be a firm deciding factor when it comes to finalizing your purchase.

If you are in the market for purchasing a ‘new’ used car, keep these tips in mind. You don’t want to drive away only to have crucial parts fail a couple months later. Research all you can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. As a consumer it is your right to have all the facts before you drive off the lot.

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