Tips for choosing the right used car

Many buyers find purchasing a used car frightening, they worry about reliability or financing. Following are few tips will help you choose the right used car.

Many buyers find purchasing a used car intimidating because they worry about reliability or financing. Although the process can be confusing, following a few tips will help you find a quality used car that fits your needs.

Choose a Vehicle Type

Before you start shopping, decide what type of vehicle fits your lifestyle best. Do you have children or large pets that require an SUV or a sedan? Drivers who haul a boat or a trailer should consider buying at truck. Those with long work commutes may opt to focus on the fuel efficiency of a vehicle.

How Much Car Can You Afford?

To determine how much car you can afford, get the advice of a reputable financial institution before you start shopping. Getting prequalified gives you up-front knowledge to help you stick to your budget. If you have bad credit, these institutions can also guide you in selecting a payment plan or financing options that still let you purchase the car that you need.

The Car Search

Used cars can be purchased in the following ways, with each having advantages.

  • Private dealer
  • Independent car lot
  • Used car section of a new car dealership

Look at the websites and classifieds for each of these options to get a feel for the inventory in your area. When you find a car that you like, look up the value at Kelly Blue Book to obtain a general price range for it.

Research and Test Drive

When purchasing a used car, you must inspect it thoroughly. Run a vehicle history report using the vehicle identification number (VIN), which provides a list of previous owners and any previous wrecks. This report also provides the vehicle mileage, which you can compare to the current odometer reading to ensure accuracy. Test drive the car to ensure it feels smooth and doesn’t have any unusual sounds or smells. Choose a test drive area with hills so that you can test the transmission. In addition, make sure that it has enough leg and head room for you and your passengers.

Opt for a Warranty

One of the advantages to purchasing a used car from a dealer is that they often sell certified vehicles with a warranty. This means that the car has been inspected thoroughly and is covered against major mechanical failures. In addition, if the vehicle is less than three years old, it may still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Car dealerships can help you verify this information or you can call the manufacturer directly.