Shopping for a pre-owned car is a lot like a treasure hunt. There are amazing used cars that are on sale out there, and the internet certainly makes it a lot easier for you to find the right used car. There are also a number of incentives to buy a used car instead of a brand new one. For one, you will be spending a lot less money upfront and during the course of the loan term. For another, you’ll find that depreciation won’t hit you as hard. Here, we take you through the steps you’ll have to follow to buy a used car.
Set Your Budget
You’ll either have to pay for the car in cash or get a loan. If you are getting a loan, make sure that the monthly payment towards the car loan is not over 20% of your total take-home pay.
Select the Right Car
This is the fun part. Take some time to think about how you intend to use the car. If you have a family, you will want a lot of space, so an SUV may be the right choice. If you travel solo often, pick a hatchback.
Check Ownership Costs
Just because a car costs less to drive, it doesn’t mean it is cheap to own as well. Some cars can cost a lot to insure, while others can be gas-guzzling machines. Ensure you check these costs and pick a car accordingly.
Locate Used Cars
A lot of dealerships sell used cars. While you can always contact all the nearby dealerships to find out what used cars they have on sale, you can also check online sources.
Compare the Prices of The Car
Before you visit the owner or the dealership to check out the car, make sure to compare car prices online. Get the year, model, make, options, mileage, and condition level of the car, so you are able to price it accurately.
Check the Vehicle History Report
Run the vehicle history report to know if the car has a clean title and if it has been in accidents in the past.
Contact the Seller
If the vehicle history report comes out clean, you can contact the seller and schedule the test drive. During the test drive, look out for odd noises and how the car drives. Also, once you bring it back, check if any fluids have leaked.