Used Car Buying Made Easy
If you’re taking out a loan to buy your used car, ensure that its monthly payment isn’t over 10% of your monthly take-home pay.
Used cars also need a little extra maintenance, so ensure you provide for another 7 – 10% for fuel, maintenance, and insurance. Also, keep an emergency fund so you can fix the car in case there’s a major breakdown.
Do some research and list out cars that are reliable, easy to drive, and easy to maintain. If certified pre-owned (CPO) cars fall in your budget, they may be worth considering too. There’s more than enough information available to make an informed choice.
Compare prices across used car dealerships, online used car lots, CPO cars, and private party sellers. Of these, private party sellers usually have the lowest prices, but CPO cars are expected to be more reliable. Start by exploring vehicles that are closest to your location.
If you find a car you’re interested in, request a copy of its vehicle history report by getting its license plate number and VIN. The sooner you know all the details about it, the better it will be.
Speak to the seller on the phone and confirm all the details about the car. Ask questions to learn important information about it. If satisfied, confirm its availability and book a test-drive.
This is the only way to see if the car is actually right for you and thoroughly assess its condition. Check its exteriors, interiors, boot, engine bay, lights, paint job, and tire condition. See how it feels while driving and braking, listen to the sounds, notice any smells, and inspect comfort levels. Check the papers and service records too.
Once you’ve narrowed down on a car you like, hire a mechanic to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and provide a detailed written report of its condition. Check warranties too.
Armed with all the relevant information, you can now negotiate a reasonable price for the car.
After agreeing to a good price, ensure you complete all the relevant paperwork. Inspect all the documents carefully and finalize the financing before you drive the car off the lot. And finally, remember to celebrate your purchase.