Cars are fantastic assets providing convenience and freedom in daily life, but buying a new model has drawbacks to consider before signing the paperwork. The average new car loses 20 percent of its value within the first year of ownership. Purchasing a new car from a car dealership is throwing money down the drain when there are several used options to meet your needs.
When considering older vehicles at a used car dealership, you’ll find more options that meet your preferences for style, features, and performance. Finding the perfect choice is simple, with a checklist for buying a used car.
The good news is that you’ve discovered the perfect guide to learn about the car questions to ask private sellers and dealerships to get top value for your dollar. Continue reading to upgrade to the best-used car today!
Set A Budget
The first item on your used car checklist should be determining what you can spend on a used car. An excellent way to view your budget is the amount of money you can spend each month based on your income after taxes. Avoid paying more than 10 percent of your monthly earnings on car payments to protect your finances.
Calculate your monthly take-home pay to determine the car payments you can afford. It’s a responsible financial decision that will protect you from unforeseen expenses. Used cars require more maintenance than new ones, so account for that expense when setting up your car shopping budget.
Find Your Favorite Vehicle Models
After setting your budget, the fun part of shopping for a used car begins. You can find the brands and models that match your desire for a vehicle. Shopping for used cars provides more options than narrowing the search to new possibilities at the car dealership.
Research the features you want and find models within your budget that provide them. Consider your current needs and plans when picking out the perfect car. If you plan to travel often, consider a vehicle with ample cargo space to bring your favorite belongings.
The same principle applies if you want to start a family in the coming years. Purchase a daily driver with the seating capacity to travel and run errands with the family in tow. Use a five-year outlook when using the checklist for buying a used car.
Next on the checklist for buying a used car is researching the price. You’ll find several options online to get estimates of car values based on vehicle lookup with VINs. The website will provide a valuation based on vehicle models with similar mileage.
Use the pricing to negotiate the best deal when shopping for a used car. Sticking to the valuation when negotiating with a used car dealership is a good rule of thumb.
Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are also worth considering when shopping for a used car. They come with a higher price tag, but you’ll enjoy increased peace of mind with your investment. They’ve undergone a car inspection for damage and have a more extensive warranty.
Contact Multiple Sellers
Working with multiple sellers is the best choice when shopping for a used car. Consider dealership options outside of your area to find better deals. A willingness to travel to purchase a used vehicle will help you save money and get the car you want.
It never hurts to continue looking, even if you’ve found the perfect deal on your favorite vehicle models. The knowledge you gain on pricing will help you find more negotiation leverage. You’ll have the resources to walk away from an offer if it’s higher than a private seller.
Ask For A Vehicle History Report
Never take a private seller or used car dealership’s word for maintenance when shopping for a used vehicle. A vehicle history report will tell you everything you should know before purchasing a used car. You’ll discover past accidents and the car’s maintenance records.
The maintenance records will indicate if the car was neglected or well-maintained. A neglected vehicle is more likely to have mechanical issues that will cost you more money to repair.
It’s also beneficial to identify the number of previous owners. A used car with several previous owners is a sign of mechanical issues.
Use the vehicle history report information to narrow your options and find a reliable used car for your family. Used Honda vehicles are a fantastic option if fuel economy and reliability are qualities you crave in a car.
Take A Test Drive
The test drive lets you get behind the wheel and imagine your life after buying the used car. A car inspection and vehicle history report will tell you much about the car’s past, but the test drive will give you insight into its present condition. You’ll get a feel for how the car runs and handles during your test drive.
It’s best to take the car on city roads and freeways to listen to the engine and work through the gears. Use the opportunity to look for potential issues. Braking and acceleration are other facets to weigh during the test drive to determine if the car is worth the price.
Listen for knocking sounds from the engine when driving. Check the undercarriage after finishing the test drive to look for rust and other signs of wear. You can use these signs of wear to negotiate a lower price.
Test The Electronics
Many newer vehicle models have electronic features to enhance safety, comfort, and entertainment during drives. Test the infotainment system and power seats to ensure everything works as designed. Electronic issues are challenging to diagnose and fix, and you can dodge a bombshell by testing these components.
Use This Checklist For Buying A Used Car Today
Shopping for a new car is an exciting experience, but knowing what you’re doing is vital to get the most value for your hard-earned money. A checklist for buying a car will help you spot red flags and determine the fair market value for the vehicle models you love. Take a test drive and use the vehicle history report to determine if you’ve found a safe investment at the used car dealership.
Finding the best car concepts and releases is vital to find your new vehicle. Check out our Auto content for helpful guides for your rides today!