Purchasing a car can be a big investment, so it pays off to be prepared. There are so many advantages to purchasing a used car, such as a lower cost, less expensive insurance, and the opportunity to stretch your dollar and get a vehicle with more non-standard features. But finding a high-quality used car can be a little bit challenging compared to driving a brand new car off the lot. If you're planning on purchasing a used car, use the following tips:
Establish a Budget
Before you visit a used car dealership, it is important to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend. It is in your best interest to get pre-approved for an auto loan through your bank or credit union before you start shopping. After you're pre-approved, you will know how much your financial institution will loan you, your monthly payment, and the interest rate. Compare the loan offered by your bank or credit union to financing offered by the dealership-- in some cases, dealerships can offer financing incentives that are better than a bank/credit union.
Determine What You Want
It is always a good idea to do some research about a few different makes/models that you are interested in. Look at the reviews and safety ratings for the car, and avoid models that are known to have major issues that can be expensive to repair, such as bad transmissions or engines that are prone to problems. Researching several vehicles will help ensure that you are an informed consumer when you begin to look at the inventory at used car lots.
Find Out a Vehicle's History
After finding a vehicle that you are very interested in and taking it for a test drive, it is essential to get a vehicle history report. Some used auto dealerships offer vehicle history reports free of charge, but if the dealership you are at doesn't you can order one for a small fee as long as you have the vehicle identification number (VIN). A vehicle history report will list any major accidents a car was in, as well as major repairs that have been made.
Get the Vehicle Inspected
The last thing you want is to buy a used car only to discover that it has a number of problems that will cost a lot of money to repair. One way to prevent this from happening is to hire a mechanic to do an inspection before you sign any paper work to buy the car. When you hire a mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you're buying a used car that is in good repair.
Contact a dealer, like AK Car Finder, for more help