Buying a used car rather than a new one is a more financially sound option. After all, buying a brand-new car means losing a lot of value the moment you sign and put the car into drive. However, knowing how to buy a used car comes with a lot of anxiety. Between lemons and unscrupulous car salesmen, having the right knowledge and knowing what to look for when buying a used car can save from a big financial pit and lead to a thoughtful and intelligent purchase.
While your main concern may be getting ripped off, it also makes good sense to read reviews of all potential vehicles before becoming invested. After all, even if the car is in perfect condition, it won’t matter if it isn’t the right vehicle for your needs. Even further, a review could tell you how the vehicle ages. For instance, if someone has owned the vehicle for 10 years and hasn’t had any major issues, it could show you are on the way to the right investment. However, if there are loads of issues as the car ages, it could shed light on why someone decided to sell the car.
Nothing can replace driving the vehicle before purchase. Not only will driving tell you a lot about the condition of the vehicle, but it will also give you a true sense of whether it is the right choice for you. When test driving, be sure to use all of your senses (except maybe taste). Listen to how the engine sounds and feel how it switches gears, along with squeaks, rattles, rough idling, and brake noises. When looking at the vehicle, be on the look for rust and leaks along with dents and scratches. The interior quality can also tell you a lot about how well the vehicle was taken care of. It is also a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member in the car as you test drive to look out for issues you may not notice.
Before deciding on a vehicle, it’s good to check out what prices the car has been selling for. While a $3,000 car in great shape sounds like a great deal, you might be disheartened to find out later that you could have bought the same quality and exact same car for $2,400. Sites like Edmunds have prices for specific areas so you can be well-researched while searching.
Another tip for buying a used car is to check the vehicle history report, have the vehicle inspected, and get the paperwork fully done before making the purchase. If you find a great used car that only needs a new part or two, contact us to find out what we have in stock to get the most out of your new-old car. And, if you need tips on which vehicle to choose, check out our helpful guide on buying a car that suits your needs.
Remember, if you need to fix your old car, My Auto Store is your best online source for used auto parts.