Why buy used cars? Other than the fact that used cars are cheaper and have lower associated costs, many of the finest cars ever made are at least several years old. Used cars also offer value for money, provided, of course that buyers know how to find and choose the best one from off a lot of a hundred or even a thousand other cars. Here are 6 tips in buying used cars that you might want to keep in mind:
Always do a comparison shop
That means visiting at least two lots or doing a little window shopping online. The goal is to have an idea of what’s currently available based on your preference, needs and budget. The number of used cars available in a lot can be overwhelming and you could easily get carried away by seemingly good choices which could later on turn out to be lemons.
Try to find a used car lot in your area and then go for a visit. Online, you could click on used cars for sale in your locality, browse the price listings and then check out the car later.
Understand that every used car has a past
Regardless of the brand, make or model, a used car will always bear the brunt of how its past owner treated it. When buying used cars, ask for the service record. Well-cared for cars should one. Use the service record to find out the types of repairs and checkups that the car of your choice has undergone, along with the date, location and frequency.
Bring your own mechanic
Many dealers will have an on-site mechanic available in case customers have questions. However, you might want to bring your own expert to the lot. Let the mechanic have a look-see. In case there are potential problems in your choice, you’ll have a better idea about what to do ? if you choose to buy.
Check with the dealer, though. Some dealers may not allow a third-party mechanic in. Should this happen, don’t be afraid to simply say no. If their car is any good, the dealer shouldn’t have any qualms allowing you and your mechanic to check it out.
Run a background check
You’ll want to know if your car has been involved in accidents, flooding, major disasters or crime-related incidents. After you’ve made your choice/s, take note of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and run it through a vehicle history report check such as CARFAX or AutoCheck. The report contains valuable information about your car and should be an important basis of your purchase.
Ask about an extended warranty
When buying used cars, your best bet is always the car that is less than 3 years old or has a mileage less than 36,000. That should give you a bit of coverage from the manufacturer’s warranty, assuming that the warranty is transferable. If the car is no longer covered, buy an extended warranty to cover for any expenses that might come up due to repairs.
Unless you have the money and don’t care about the cost, do not leave the used car lot without negotiating. And when you do, negotiate hard but fair. When buying used cars, remember that prices aren’t fixed and you are expected to haggle, so do so.