For many of us, buying a new car just doesn’t fit into our budget or lifestyle. However, buying a used car can seem a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be! If you’re planning to buy a used car, follow these steps to be sure you get the best deal.
Identify Your Budget. Before you begin looking for cars, you need to know what you can afford. That will help narrow down your options. It is recommended that you put down at least 20% and finance for no more than 4 years. If you can put down more than 20%, that’s even better!
Get Financing. If you can’t afford to buy a car outright (it’s okay, a lot of us can’t!), look into financing options. Get a few quotes from different lenders to see who will offer you the best rates. You might even be able to finance through your bank.
Know What You Want. What make and model of car do you want? What’s the most important feature in a car to you? Identify what you want most in your new (to you) car so you can use those specifications to narrow down your search.
Do Some Research. Spend some time searching online for cars meeting your requirements. Read reviews and ratings to better educate yourself on what to look for in a vehicle. Be sure to read up on common problems and issues with whatever model(s) you’ve chosen to look for. Some vehicles cost more to fix than others, and you don’t want to get stuck with costly repairs.
Shop Around. Look around online as well as in local papers to see where you can find your best deal. Use all the tools at your disposal to review your used car options. Be sure to check out The Guide for listings from dealerships as well as private sellers.
Inspect. Once you’ve found some promising candidates, set up a time to go see them in person. Keep an eye out for rust, dents and exterior damage, and the condition of the engine. If possible, have a mechanic check out your potential new car for any red flags.
Buying a used car can seem like a hassle, but once you find that perfect vehicle, it will make all your hard work worthwhile.