The 10 Step Strategy For Buying A Pre-Owned Car

You’re Not The Only One Trying To Purchase A Secondhand Car. Every Year, Close To 40 Million Used Cars Are Sold Through Dealership And Private Transactions.

Finding The One Car That’s Suitable For You Can Be Difficult With So Many Options Available. In Order To Make The Process Of Discovering And Purchasing Your Ideal Used Car Simple, We’ve Put Together A List Of Steps.

Step 1: What Kind Of Car Can You Afford?

The General Guideline Is That A Car Loan Payment Shouldn’t Eat Up More Than 10% Of One’s Gross Income. If Money Is Scarce, Cutting Costs Further May Be Necessary.

New Tires, Regular Maintenance, And The Like Are All Things Used Cars Require From Time To Time. In Addition To The Purchase Price, There Are Other Expenses Associated With Car Ownership That Consumers Frequently Overlook.

The Purchase Of A Used Car Without The Protection Of A Manufacturer’s Warranty Should Be Approached With Caution, And A Contingency Fund Should Be Established In Case Of Any Unforeseen Maintenance Or Repairs.

Step 2: Narrow Your Search To Specific Used Cars

The Honda Cr-V And The Toyota Rav-4 Are Both Excellent Choices For Pre-Owned Suvs. However, They Could Be Several Thousand Dollars More Expensive Than A Comparable Ford Escape Or Kia Sportage, Both Of Which Are Reliable Cars In Their Own Right.

As A Result, If You’re Trying To Cut Costs, You Should Look Into Buying From More Than One Manufacturer. We Recommend That You Compile A List Of At Least Three Cars That Are Suitable For Your Demands And Price Range.

Consider Purchasing A Certified Pre-Owned Car If You’re In The Market For A Car That’s Less Than 5 Years Old (Cpo).

Certified Pre-Owned Cars (Cpos) Come With Extensive Manufacturer Warranties In Addition To Any Coverage Provided By The Dealer. Cpo Cars Of A Given Brand Can Only Be Sold By Franchised Dealerships That Also Sell That Brand’s New Cars. A Certified Pre-Owned Chevrolet Equinox, For Instance, May Only Be Purchased From An Authorized Chevrolet Dealer.

Step 3: Compare Costs

Shop Around; Prices Tend To Vary Depending On Proximity To Major Tourist Destinations.

Used Cars Can Be Purchased From A Variety Of Sources, Including The Pre-Owned Sections Of New Car Dealerships, Standalone Used Car Lots, Specialty Used Car Merchants Like Carmax, And Online Classifieds.

In Most Cases, The Lowest Asking Price Among The Four Is For Privately Owned Cars. For The Reasons We’ve Outlined, Cpo Cars Are Typically More Expensive Than New Ones.

Check Out The Edmunds Suggested Price Listed On Each Car Detail Page To Get An Idea Of How Much Other Customers Have Paid For The Makes And Models You’re Interested In.

Step 4: Find Local Used Car Dealerships Is

A Good Resource For Finding Potential Customers Is The Used Car Inventory Page On Edmunds.

The Number Of Miles On The Car’s Odometer, The Car’s Pricing And Features, And The Dealership’s Proximity To You Are Just Some Of The Search Filters Available To Help You Locate The Perfect Car.

Finding The Nearest Car Is Typically Done In A Similar Fashion Across Most Websites.

Step 5: Examine The Carfax Report

Plan On Getting A Car History Report Unless You’re Buying The Car From A Close Friend Or Family Member Who Can Attest For Its History. This Preliminary Action Is Crucial.

The Sooner You Find Out If The Used Car You’re Considering Has A Shady Past, The Better.

The Most Well-Known Providers Of Car History Reports Are Autocheck And Carfax.

Information Such As Whether Or Not The Odometer Has Been Tampered With And Whether Or Not The Car Has A Salvage Title (Indicating That It Has Been Deemed A Total Loss By An Insurance Company) Can Be Gleaned From These Reports.

Car Identification Number (Vin) Or License Plate Number May Suffice In Some Instances To Obtain This Data. If The Dealer Has The Car In Stock, The Report Is Likely To Be Provided At No Cost.

Step 6: Communicate With The Vendor

Don’t Rush Out To Check Out A Promising Car After You’ve Found One. Contact The Vendor First. This Is A Great Opportunity To Get To Know The Seller And Their Motives While Also Checking The Accuracy Of The Car’s Description.

Those Selling Their Cars Privately Should Be Questioned About The Car’s Condition And The Reasons For Selling.

Furthermore, Contacting The Dealer Through Phone Or Text Message Is The Easiest Approach To Confirm The Availability Of The Car You’re Interested In Purchasing.

It’s Possible That The Seller Will Bring Up A Point Not Covered In The Ad That Will Make You Rethink Your Decision To Purchase The Car.

If Everything Seems To Be Going Well, Schedule A Time To Take The Car For A Spin. Plan It For The Daytime When It Will Be Easier To See The Car’s Condition.

Step 7: Drive The Car For A While

The Easiest Approach To Determine If A Used Car Is The Perfect Make And Model For You Is To Take It For A Test Drive. It Is Also A Helpful Method Of Determining The State Of A Specific Car. Keep Your Mind On The Road And Shut Off The Noise.

Some Things To Verify Are:

  • Is It Possible To Enter And Exit The Car Without Having To Stoop Or Hit One’s Head?
  • Is There Sufficient Space For Your Body? Verify The Rear Seat Legroom As Well.
  • Is It Easy To Get Into A Relaxed Driving Position? Can You Tell If You’re Sitting Too Low, Too High, Or At The Perfect Height For The Car? Is There A Way To Adjust The Height Of The Wheel?
  • Do You Feel At Ease In The Chairs? Can You Change The Size Of It? Can The Driver’s Seat Be Adjusted For Lumbar Comfort? When It Comes To The Front-Seat Passenger, How About You?
  • Have You Got A Warning Light On? If That’s The Case, You Should Probably Have It Fixed Before You Buy.
  • Where Do You Stand In Terms Of Visibility? Take A Look In The Mirrors, Both Inside And Out. Try To Notice Any Omissions That Could Prove Fatal.
  • Pay Attention To What Your Nose Tells You. Has Anyone Noticed A Strange Odor, Like Gas Or Burnt Oil?
  • Verify The Tire Pressure. What Ages Are They? Do You Think There’s Still Enough Tread?
  • When You Press On The Brake Pedal, Do You Feel Any Resistance? Is The Car Being Stopped By Them? What Kind Of Noises Do They Make?
  • Raise The Car’s Hood. It Doesn’t Take An Expert Eye Or Extensive Knowledge Of Cars To See A Problem. It’s Time To Start Asking Questions If Something Is Steaming, Leaking, Or Splattered With Oil.
  • Do You Feel A Cool Breeze From The Air Conditioner? When You Turn The Lights On, Do They Illuminate? Find Out For Sure By Testing Them.
  • After You’ve Taken The Test Drive, Inquire About The Car’s Service History With The Owner Or Dealer. You Can Use These To See If The Car’s Regular Maintenance Was Done On Time.

Step 8: Get A Car Inspection.

Consider Having A Mechanic Go Over The Car Before Buying It If You’re Interested. There Are Several Places Online, Like Google And Yelp, Where You May Find Information On Local Repair Companies If You Don’t Already Have A Mechanic.

A Pre-Purchase Inspection Can Save You $100-$200 By Pointing Out Issues That You Might Miss Otherwise. You Can Expect A Good Return On This Expenditure.

An Individual Vendor Is More Likely To Agree To This Than A Business. The Majority Of Car Lots Will Lend You A Car So That A Third-Party Mechanic May Examine It. Of Course, The Cost Of The Inspection Will Fall On You.

As The Cpo Car Has Previously Been Inspected And Is Covered By A Guarantee, There Is No Need To Take It To A Random Technician.

Step 9: Strike A Decent Bargain During Negotiations

Feel Anxious Just Thinking About Having To “Speak Numbers”? On The Contrary, It Shouldn’t.

It’s Not Necessary To Make The Negotiation Process A Drawn-Out Ordeal. You Can Probably Reach An Agreement Really Fast And Easily If You Are Reasonable And Organized.

It’s Important To Set A Budget Before Beginning Your Search For A Car. But Don’t Begin Your Talk With That Sum.

The Average Price Paid Study From Step 3 Should Inform Your Initial Offer, Which Should Be Lower Than Your Maximum Price But In The Ballpark. Justify Your Lowball Offer By Saying You Did Your Homework On Edmunds Or Other Relevant Websites.

If The Price You And The Seller Agree On Is Fair And Close To The Median Selling Price, You’re Usually In Good Shape.

It’s Important To Keep In Mind That The Other Party, Even If It’s Their Job To Negotiate, Is Probably Not Looking Forward To It Either.

Step 10: Finalize Your Documents

At A Car Dealership, The Paperwork Must Be Signed In The Insurance And Financing Department. There, You May Be Upsold On Things Like Extended Service Contracts, Fabric Protectors, And Anti-Theft Gadgets.

Unless The Car Is Still Covered By The Original Manufacturer’s Warranty Or Is Certified Pre-Owned, An Extended Warranty May Be Worth Considering For Your Peace Of Mind. Carefully Read Over The Dealership Purchase Agreement.

The Price Of The Car, Plus Any Sales Tax Or License Costs Required By Your State, Plus Any Documentation Or Smog Certificate Fees, If Applicable.

Make Sure The Seller Transfers The Title And Registration To You In A Timely Manner If You Are Buying A Car From An Individual Owner. Closing The Deal Properly Is Crucial To Avoiding Problems Once The Sale Has Been Made. Title, Often Known As A Pink Slip, Must Be Transferred To The Buyer Before Any Payment Is Made.

A Car’s Registration And Licensing Requirements Can Differ From One State To The Next. Before Buying A Used Car, It’s A Good Idea To Verify With The Local Dmv That It Hasn’t Accrued Any Outstanding Registration Fines.

Make Sure The Car Is Insured Before You Drive It Away, Whether You Bought It From A Dealer Or A Private Party.

Once The Paperwork Is Finalized, It’s Time To Enjoy Your New Purchase, Perhaps With A Meal From A Drive-Thru. Do It Because You’ve Earned It.

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