Over the past few years, the used car market has evolved fairly dramatically. Used cars are made better than ever before, while durability and the quality of cars manufactured in the United States has also improved as manufacturers strive to keep in touch with competition from imports.
In order to get yourself a top deal, pay close attention to the following points:
How much can You Afford?
Prior to setting the wheels in motion, consider how much you can afford to invest in your new purchase.
Once you’ve successfully achieved that, it’s time to assess your financing options. You can, if you wish, come to a deal with a dealership, though you can also secure financing via a third-party source prior to approaching a dealer or an individual seller.
Do not forgo the consideration for tax, registration, title, and also insurance. As a particularly general rule, these various additional costs will amount to around 10 percent of the vehicle’s purchase price.
Check the Price
Begin your search for a used car by checking out the prices of vehicles that are of interest. Two of the best websites for achieving this are Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com.
You can also have a look at the National Automobile Dealers’ Association’s website. This online reference lists prices for car models by year within your region. Your bargaining area is the price between the trade-in value and the value listed for retail price.
For those of you who prefer to peruse the online world, sites such as Cars.com and Autotrader.com list classified prices which mostly arise from dealers. By entering your Zip Code, you’ll receive a selection of cars close to your location.
eBay Motors offer a huge selection of used cars from around the country. Keep in mind that if you do shop within another state, there are various intricacies that must be taken care of prior to bringing the car home. The beauty of eBay is that it offers buyer and seller protection policies thereby expediting a successful sale.
Manufacturer-backed car dealers provide used-car programs that are certified for cars that are generally less than 3 years old. Prior to certification, the vehicle must undergo a series of relatively rigorous inspections. Vehicles under the certified used-car program attract a fresh warranty which can be 12 months or longer.
A further port of call is to utilize a used-car superstore chain. These chains have extensive inventories, and offer a no-hassle shopping experience.
Take a Test Drive
Ideally, prior to parting with your money, endeavor to arrange for a test drive on a rainy day. By doing so, you can easily assess if door and trunk seals are leaking. If the car is only a few years old, leaking seals can point to excessive wear or even a previous wreckage job.
Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Companies such as Autocheck and Carfax are able to track the history of a vehicle through its VIN, which is generally listed on a plate located on the inside of the windshield. By checking the VIN, you can ensure that the odometer has never been totaled and that the auto has not been severely damaged and has not been assigned a ‘salvage title’.
Although you’ve already come a long way, you still want to get the auto checked by your mechanic, providing you have one. If not, there are many specialized mechanic services that provide on-the-spot inspections. This will cost around $100 but could save you $1,000s.
Should you prefer to purchase using eBay, they proffer their own vehicle inspection service. eBay auto sellers will frequently utilize this service and post the results within their eBay ad.
One thing to keep in mind is that if the seller is not keen on allowing a mechanic to inspect the car, that’s a major cause for concern and it signals time to take a walk irrespective how well the car runs.
Many dealers do not accept car inspections and those that will typically disallow the removal of the car from their premises.