A Complete Guide To Buying The Best Used Car
Setting A Budget
It’s important to consider the whole price of the car, including financing costs and the odds of it requiring expensive repairs in the future. Use online resources to learn about the vehicle’s reliability, repair costs, and issues. Check for warranties, and common repair costs too. And don’t forget to include insurance costs.
Finding The Right Car
Look up used car rankings and reviews. Read opinions from experts and compare those to data on safety, reliability, and total cost of ownership. Understand your needs and find a car that will meet those requirements. Search for dealerships, used car lots, and private party sellers that are closest to your location.
Certified Used Cars
If you want the affordability of used vehicles with the security of a manufacturer’s warranty, look for manufacturer-certified pre-owned cars (CPO). These are often low-mileage cars that have been serviced by the manufacturer or vehicles returned to the dealer at the end of a lease. They have to pass rigorous inspections to get certified, so they usually offer buyers some peace of mind. They tend to cost more than other used cars too.
Most people need to take out a used-car loan to buy a vehicle. Used-car loan interest rates are usually higher, so ensure that you shop around for options, compare offers, check your credit score, improve it if possible, and, ideally, get pre-approved for a loan. Credit unions are often the best place, followed by community banks and then large national banks, online banks, and financing companies. Choose a loan with the shortest term, lowest APR, and no prepayment penalties.
Test-Drive The Car
Make a comprehensive list of all that you need to check when you head out for a test-drive. Take as much time as you need to inspect the vehicle. Ensure all the paperwork is in order and inspect the service records and the vehicle history report. If it all feels right, hire a mechanic to inspect the car too and ensure they provide a written report.
Make The Deal
Once you find a car you like, negotiate a fair price, complete title transfer, and all relevant paperwork, finalize the financing and only then, drive away and celebrate.