Tips for Buying A Used Car
You’re ready to buy a used car, but it’s hard to know where to start. Finding the right used car for your budget, lifestyle, and taste is like searching for a needle in a haystack. With so many options to choose from, your mind can feel overloaded pretty quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to ensure you find the perfect used car for you and your family:
Stick to your budget.
Out of all the tips on this list, sticking to your budget is perhaps the most important. Figure out exactly how much you can spend on a car before you start searching. It’s all too easy to throw caution to the wind the moment you see a car that’s perfect but well out of your price range. Keeping your budget in mind helps narrow down your choices right off the bat, so you won’t get stuck yearning over cars that you really can’t buy without causing yourself unnecessary financial stress.
Choose the right dealership.
Most brand-name dealerships — Toyota, Ford, Mercedes, etc. — have a large inventory of new cars, but their used car selections leave more to be desired. When searching for a used car, always choose a small, family-oriented business. Smaller dealerships almost always have far more used cars than new cars, so you can browse as much as you want in a business where you feel comfortable.
Do your research.
It’s an excellent idea to have a list of potential used car options on hand when you arrive. Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports are great websites that can help you find a variety of reliable used cars in your price range. Having this information ready when you arrive at the dealership tells the team exactly what you’re looking for in a car. It can also give you bargaining power when it comes time to buy.
Don’t fall into monthly payment traps.
A lot of car dealerships rope you into buying a car that boasts smaller payments over a 72-month loan period to make you think you’re paying much less than you are for the car. Always look at the full price of the car before buying. Does it match your budget? If not, it’s probably best to look at another car.
Calculate insurance costs.
When buying a car, you must calculate all the costs before settling on the one you want. That means factoring the insurance costs of the car’s make, model, and year before you buy. Insurance premiums can set you back a pretty penny, depending on the vehicle, so make sure you know exactly how much you’re going to pay monthly right off the bat.
Car dealerships are businesses, just like any other business, so they’re going to try to get you to buy add-ons that you don’t need to make a profit. Unless you absolutely need heated seats, built-in GPS, or a rear camera, just say no to add-ons.