7 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Car Stuff, Defensive Driving Online

 
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Buying a used car is a great way to save money, but it can be a difficult task if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. If you don’t know much about cars, you might end up overpaying for a car that is nothing but a piece of junk. But if you go into the process with at least a basic knowledge of what you should be looking for, you will have a much better experience and come out of it with a better deal and a better car. Here are seven tips for buying a used car.

1. Figure Out What You Need Before You Start Looking

Looking for a good car can be an overwhelming process at best, but if you go into without knowing what you are looking for, you can come out of it a lot worse for wear. A car is a big investment, and the last thing you want is to end up spending a large amount of money on the wrong car.

2. Decide Whether to Go With a Dealer or Individual Seller

There are two main ways to buy a used car. You can either go to a used car dealer, or you can buy one from an individual seller. If you choose the latter, the chances are that you will probably have found it online. This means that you know very little about the person who is selling the car, so you will want to be extra thorough with your checks and the questions that you ask. Used car dealers often get a bad rap, but you can often get a good deal by using one, and the benefit of using a dealership is that you can often get a warranty or option to return the car if it doesn’t work out.

3. Test Drive

You should never buy a car that you have never driven. Make sure that you give the car a test drive before you buy it. Even better than this, use the test drive to take it to a mechanic and have the car checked out. Have the mechanic do a check under the hood and a general sweep of the car to make sure that there are no serious problems that could cost you later.

4. Do Some Research

Once you are looking at a car, you will want to research that particular make and model. Check the car’s blue book value, and see how much a car with that many miles should be worth. If the seller is charging a much higher price, you may want to look elsewhere. However, they may be open to negotiation.

5. Check the Mileage

Before you can research the car, you will want to know its mileage, so that you can compare it to other cars of the same age. Extremely high or low mileage might be indicative of something else, so be sure to ask why this is the case if you notice strange mileage.

6. Ask About Accident and Service History

A car might have good mileage, but had a really rough go of it. Ask about the car’s history in terms of how many accidents and repairs have been done on the car. This will help you to know if there are any recurring problems that might show up again in the future.

7. Don’t Settle for the First Offering Price

When it comes to buying used cars, the initial asking price is rarely the final one. Based on what you have discovered through research, you should be well placed to offer a lower price than the one that is offered. Do not get too carried away however, as not everybody is trying to rip you off!
 
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