Are you looking for a new car? Don’t forget to check out used cars, too. As long as you know what to look for, you won’t have to worry about quality.
Pre-owned cars are a great option for anyone who wants a great car without a hefty price tag.
New cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot, so many people opt to buy used instead. The important thing is to be sure your used car is in good shape, and not a lemon.
Here are some tips on how to buy a great used car and avoid the bad ones.
1. Figure Out What You Want to Spend
One of the best tips for how to buy used cars is to know your budget. When you’re reading your local used car guide, avoid any cars that are out of your budget range.
It’s always best to keep your car payment under 10% of your total monthly gross income.
2. Narrow Down Your Favorite Makes and Models
Most people have a favorite car make or model that they’d like to own. Be sure to check consumer reports and safety data before making a decision.
This will help you narrow down your choices and avoid selecting something that you’ll dislike later.
3. Find What’s Available in Your Area and Online
You may be able to find some great used car deals by sticking with smaller dealerships instead of national chains.
If you’re wondering how to buy a used car without having to travel far from home, check out shoppers guides and used car periodicals.
They’re often available in grocery stores and local libraries in the community interest section or bulletin boards.
You can also do a browser search for used cars, which is very easy to do. Select by make, model, price, color, and more.
4. Do a VIN Check
A VIN check is another very important tool for finding a good used car. Looking up a car’s VIN number reveals its history and any damage that may have happened in the past. You’ll be able to find information about the car’s past locations and the number of owners it had.
If you’d like to know more about how a VIN check works and how you can conduct one, check it out here.
5. Test Drive Your Favorite Options
Be sure to test drive all cars you consider buying. Some cars are going to handle better and feel better than others, no matter what they look like on the outside. The only way to tell is to take them out on the road.
6. Have the Car Inspected
You should also have the car inspected by a knowledgeable mechanic. Choose someone who’s not affiliated with the car dealership you’re buying from.
Car inspections may seem like an extra expense you don’t want, but they will keep you from buying a lemon.
Now You Know How to Find Great Pre-owned Cars
Finding great pre-owned cars is entirely possible as long as you’re careful and do your research. If you test drive, stay within budget, get your favorite options inspected, and do a VIN check to avoid buying a lemon.
For more about cars, finance, and more, check out our other blog articles.