May 7th, 2014
Purchasing a recently released model from your favorite automaker can be a great investment, but new models tend to be expensive. While you may miss out on having an automobile with that new-car smell, you can still find dependable used vehicles. Getting a previously owned vehicle can help you save a few extra dollars, but if you do not research carefully, you could be spending a lot more than you intended to. Here are a few tips to help you buy a used car:
Figure out how much you can afford
Before you start looking at every single car on the market, you should first figure out how much you are willing to spend. While used cars are generally less expensive than new ones, you still need to factor in other costs including:
If you are not sure how much you are able to afford, you can use an auto calculator. This trusty device is widely available and can assist you in figuring out how much you are able to spend on a used car.
Keep options open
Buying a used car may be a bit better than buying a new one because a used car won't have the same rate of depreciation in value compared to a new vehicle. This is because a new one would lose value once it is driven off the lot, plus you can get all the features of crisp, new models as well. But it is best to shop around for your intended purchase. Even if you have a specific model in mind, look at different online car listing websites or check out dealerships to find additional options. There is a good chance you can find a different model with comparable features for a fraction of the cost.
Research the seller
Once you have found an automobile that fits all your requirements and is in your price range, it is time to get in contact with the seller. If you are buying from a respected website or a large dealership, you probably don't have to do too much research. But if you are purchasing your new vehicle from a private seller, you should investigate their background and the vehicle's history. First, ask them why they are selling the vehicle. It may seem like a generic question, but you never know if they are trying to get rid of the car because it is a lemon or the car stalls every few miles. To help with this process, ask the seller for the car and mechanical records. If they do not have these on hand, ask if you can take it to a mechanic of your choosing to get it inspected. If the seller refuses, you may want to back away from the deal.
Try to negotiate the price down
After you have thoroughly inspected the vehicle and gave it a test drive, you should negotiate for the best possible price. While some dealers and sellers may say there is no haggling for a new price, you can try to find cuts for the interest rate or even insurance costs, which wouldn't be done with the seller. But it doesn't hurt to unleash your inner salesperson and try to get a lower overall price at the time of purchase.