Looking for some new wheels and don’t want to spend a fortune? This post will give you all the tips you need to find the best used cars out there.
Looking to trade in your current ride for something better? Before getting yourself stuck in a money-munching new car, consider the used car market.
New cars are eye-catching, for sure, but are they worth that new-car smell?
Consider this: Purchasing a car that’s even one year old can save you major bucks. In fact, choosing a used car could save you around $10,000.
Now that’s worth considering if you ask us.
But with so many used cars out there, how do you choose the best one?
If you’re wanting to find the best used cars, read on for 10 tips that will steer you in the right direction.
1. Consider Engine and Fuel Types
Whether you’re wanting to hit the road, or you’ll mostly use your car for grocery shopping, the car’s engine and fuel type need to be taken into consideration.
Smaller engines will give you less power, but they’ll be cheaper. They may be just fine for your needs, though. There’s no need to spend big bucks on a powerful engine if you don’t need one.
Similarly, cars that run on diesel will cost you more. If you don’t need the power, don’t pay for it. Choosing a used car that runs on gasoline will save you tons.
2. Time Your Purchase Right
Purchasing at the right time can save you some cash, especially if you’re looking to purchase from a dealer. Unmet quarterly sales goals could make prices jump.
Purchasing privately can eliminate this risk. You’ll likely save by buying from a private seller since they’ll only have themselves to please.
If you don’t want to feel rushed when purchasing, try shopping during the week instead of on the weekend.
3. Know What You Want Before You Look
Knowing what you want from your new ride is essential if you want to shop efficiently. Consider what your essential requirements are.
Is there anything specific you really want or couldn’t do without?
Research different makes and models. You may find that BMW used cars are the ones for you when you hadn’t considered them before. You may also find that you already knew exactly what would match your needs.
Always look for reliability when researching different types of cars. And make sure they’ll meet your requirements. Don’t spend the money on something that won’t meet your basic needs.
4. Calculate the Total Cost
When purchasing a vehicle, the listed price isn’t the only thing you’ll be paying. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you buy.
Does the car need any type of repair? If it does, make sure you know what that’s going to cost you.
Has it had an oil change recently? Do fluids need to be replaced?
If there are additions you’ll want to purchase, tally up the cost of those on top of the car’s purchase price. Don’t leave anything out. You want to know the total cost.
Don’t forget to include taxes and registration fees when you’re calculating the car’s price. You should also look into insurance costs.
Financing methods need to be considered, as well, if you’ll be taking that route.
5. Compare, Compare, Compare
Comparison shopping is the way to go when looking for the best used cars. Don’t look at only one car, and don’t visit only one dealer.
Be aware of the market’s current prices. The exact same car may cost you less if you buy it somewhere else.
Compare dealerships, sellers, and every detail of the car in question.
Mileage, age, condition, and each of the car’s details should be taken into consideration. Check values, then shop around.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle
Though it may seem annoying or intimidating, try to get that price down. Be kind, but firm, and don’t be afraid of awkward silences.
Walk away if need be. You may end up looking for a different car, but leaving may also convince the seller to budge.
7. Look into the Details
When looking for a great used car, don’t neglect the details!
Keep in mind that 10,000 miles per year is a good average. If the mileage is over that, ask about it.
Check the condition of the car, both inside and out. Look for and ask about any repairs. Check the oil and the engine.
Make sure all music players, windshield wipers, lights, and power windows, mirrors, and doors work. Check the tire quality, as well as the horn.
Does the vehicle have a warranty? What’s its history?
Also, make sure the car is sturdy and well put together, and that there aren’t any strange smells in the car.
8. Take a Test Drive
Ask to take a test drive. Try it out on the freeway, as well as on local streets. Check the breaks in a safe area, and listen for engine noise.
Adjust all mirrors and seats and make sure you feel comfortable in the vehicle. Do you have enough leg and head space? Can you easily reach everything you need to?
Inspect the car in daylight and good weather, and get it checked out by a mechanic. Reputable sellers should allow you do this.
Don’t get distracted by cheap cars that don’t do the job. Make sure everything is working correctly.
9. Obtain Car Insurance
Before driving away, get insurance coverage on your newly-purchased vehicle. It’s illegal to drive without it.
If you’re buying from a dealer, ask about any coverage currently on the car.
Once you purchase, you’ll be responsible for insuring the car, so make sure you have coverage before driving away.
10. Get All Important Accessories
When purchasing your car, make sure you leave with all the important items that should accompany the car. All keys, service booklets, and manuals should be in your possession.
You should also obtain a sales contract and any other paperwork you’ll need to verify your ownership of the car and obtain licensing.
If the seller has any spare tires that go with the vehicle, make sure to get those too.
What Makes the Best Used Cars?
Many sellers will claim to have the best second-hand cars, but you’ll ultimately decide what’s best for you. As you look for a used car, comparison shop and find something that meets your needs as well as your budget.
Don’t jump into purchasing a car without knowing all the details. Make sure you know the true condition of the car. Also, know what your total cost will be.
Searching for the best used cars can be a hassle, but it can really be worth your while. Keep these tips in mind as you search, and you’ll likely be a happy camper in the end.
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