Research and do your homework properly. You don’t want to end up wasting your money on a car that will cost you a lot of extra money to maintain it. Below are the top most tips to consider before purchasing a used car;
1. Research the actual value of the car¶
New cars come with price stickers. This is not the case for used cars. Once you find a car that interests you, determine the cars actual price. A dealer will find it hard to take advantage of you because you will be well informed. Remember, a sales man is after making a profit and if he/she finds you to be uninformed; he/she won’t hesitate to take advantage of the situation. You can use the VIN Check tool to pull up a rough estimate of the vehicle’s value by VIN. Also, don’t forget that vehicle color plays a role in determining the value of the vehicle as well.
2. Find out about the car’s history¶
Most people don’t know the individuals who previously owned the cars they plan to buy. This should not be a problem as most used car dealers will provide you with the vehicles history without a problem. Search for used car dealers near me, and if the used car dealer doesn’t provide you with this information, use VIN Check website and the vehicle’s VIN to order a $10 Vehicle History Report. The VIN Check Report will give you all the information you need.
3. Consider The Vehicle’s Warranty¶
Every new car has a warranty. If the used car you plan to buy isn’t that old, then there might be a warranty still in effect on the car. Ask your car dealer for the details. The warranty should transfer to you after purchasing your car. Carefully inspect the car before the time (of the warranty) expires; it is also recommended that you take the vehicle to a third-party mechanic to get it inspected before buying a used vehicle.
4. Ask about the return policy
The federal commission concerned with trade recommends that “all used car buyers should inquire about the return policy of the dealer from which they are buying the vehicle.” Consider walking away from the deal if it has no return policy. Note: private sellers are never willing to take back their cars once the deal is closed.
5. Test-drive the vehicle
With experience, one can tell if the car is in good condition or not. Enquire about little details like; how much fuel does it consume and how many miles (or Kilometers, for anyone outside the US) the car has covered (With previous owner).
You can cross-check the fuel consumption against our VIN Decoder; if the previous owner reports a fuel consumption that is way below the “average” numbers given on VIN check website, that might mean that the vehicle is not running at 100% and it might be a good idea to take it to a mechanic for further inspection.
Alternatively, here’s a checklist that you can follow while you’re test-driving the car to make sure you check everything.
6. Shop around
Look around for same car deals. Finding similar used cars will help you to get a fair deal on any type of used car. Search area for used car dealership and inquire about their current market price. Different car dealers will vary in their prices. Choose the one that suits your budget and one that seems more legit and honest.
7. Do Your Paper Work
Follow up on the paper work. Paperwork is the only thing that will prove transfer of ownership. This means that, without the car papers (also known as the “Title”), the car owner can repossess his/her vehicle any time he/she wants.
8. Be a Negotiator
Learn from the best to bargain for a lesser price. A used car shouldn’t be bought at high prices. Another option will be to carry along a friend who is good at negotiating prices. The website “Art of Manliness” actually has quite a few useful tips for negotiating for a used car.
9. Inspect with a mechanic
A professional Mechanic will help you determine if a car is a good buy after inspecting it for issues. He/she will check on all the necessary applications and if a problem is found, the mechanic will inform you of the problems and the approximate costs associated with fixing those issues; these issues can later be brought up in the negotiation phase to further lower the price of the vehicle (if you still want it after knowing the issues).
10. Check the odometer for the cars mileage
The normal “Miles Driven” should be 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Consider buying a different vehicle if that particular car has covered more than the above figure.