There are a lot of used autos for sell in today’s market. High unemployment rates have forced owners to sell their cars. But, be careful not to pick a lemon. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on maintenance and repair.
Here are 10 tips to help you make the right decision:
1. Determine how much money you can spend, either in cash or in monthly loan payments. Don’t forget to figure in the costs for owning a car such as insurance and maintenance.
2. Research the models that you are considering to buy. Car information websites will provide you information on the long-term reliability and performance of the various autos.
3. To find a used vehicle that you may be interested in, check out used car lots, classified ads, auto dealerships that sell pre-owned vehicles, and used motor vehicle publications and websites.
4. Ask the seller about the general condition of the vehicle, including mileage, if there are extra feature, and if a service record has been maintained. If you are considering to buy from an individual, ask if they are the original owner and why they are selling.
5. Inspect and test drive it. You want to make sure that it performs well, runs smoothly, and feels right to you. Don’t let the seller rush you through the test drive.
6. Find out if a warranty is included, what type it is, and how long it will last. If a warranty is not included, let a mechanic do a thorough inspection. Let the seller know that the sale is contingent upon that inspection.
7. If buying online, get a vehicle history report from the company selling it online. Try to find out if the vehicle has been damaged before and if the odometer’s mileage may have been rolled back.
8. Find out how much the car is worth by checking online used auto guides or visiting the library. These guides usually give you a minimum and maximum value.
9. Negotiate the price. Using the estimated values that you obtained in step 8, start on the low end. Don’t be afraid to walk away. If you are trading in your car or having a dealership arrange financing, negotiate the price first. This assures you that you are getting the best deal.
10. Close the deal. If your buying from an individual, make sure you get the title. Register your vehicle with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Most dealerships will handle most of this paperwork for you – just make sure that you read all contracts and paperwork carefully.
Now, just drive home in your new sharp auto.