It’s that time – time for a new vehicle. Maybe someone hit you from behind and totaled your baby, maybe it stopped running, or maybe it’s just time for an upgrade. Whatever your reason, you probably don’t want to pay the insane price tag for a brand new car, yet you still need a mode of transportation. This is where used cars come into play. More options have to be considered when choosing to buy used over new. Here are some below.
The Brand’s Reputation
While not limited to only used cars, the reputation of the manufacturer is an important factor to consider before buying. Has the brand had many recalls lately? What are the safety ratings? How do other drivers rank the specific make and model? Do different years of the same make have different ratings? There are even websites to show you how a vehicle of your choice compares to another, giving you an exact comparison based on tests and reviews.
The Specific Vehicle’s History
If the dealer supplies the history report, take advantage of the opportunity and check it out. You may find that the car spent quite a bit of time up north, which means it may have salt corrosion, or was located in the south during a hurricane, which may indicate unseen flood damage. These reports also have information on any accidents, giving you a clue as to any potential frame damage.
The Fair Market Value
Before committing to purchase a car, do your research on the fair market value of the vehicle. There are websites giving you the current going rates for used cars in any condition (which you specify) for the number of miles you enter in. If you walk in armed with this knowledge, some dealers may back down on price a bit.
Your Mechanic’s Opinion
Ask the dealer if they’ll take it to your mechanic for a second opinion on the condition of the vehicle. Chances are they’ll arrange everything and do it for you, leaving you only with the task of consulting your mechanic on what he finds and paying the bill.
The Dealer’s Reputation
Of course, you’re going to want to make sure that this dealer is actually reputable. You don’t want to deal with someone who routinely sells cars that don’t last very long. You certainly don’t want any of your personal information in the hands of someone who may potentially misuse it. See if they offer a warranty and don’t give out any information before committing!
Buying a pre-owned vehicle isn’t something to worry about, you’ve just got to approach it with the right knowledge and mindset.