Buying a used car isn’t easy, especially with such a wide availability and selection of competing models. Fortunately, narrowing down that selection to a few final contenders, then ultimately picking the champion is much easier with a few helpful tips. Check out this guide to buying a used car and start planning for your next vehicle.
The first rule to any major purchase is to set a budget. Determine how much of a car payment you can afford. As a general rule, it shouldn’t cut into more than a third of your monthly income. Older models might have unexpected or unforeseen problems. It would be wise to keep a little money in case something goes wrong.
Next, make a list of vehicles that meet your needs. For example, if you’re looking for a midsize sedan, you might want to add the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima to the list, just to name a few.
The next step in buying a used car is to compare models by any means necessary. Whether it’s surveying friends or checking out reviews on the internet, knowledge is power. Buying a car is a big investment. It pays to be informed.
Narrow down the list you created to a selection of models that both fall into your budget and meet your needs. After that, find those final models in your area and set up a test drive.
Taking a well-rounded test drive generally involves playing with controls, getting a feel for the handling, and making sure nothing is wrong with the powertrain. Keep your eyes, nose, and ears open for anything out of the ordinary!
The final step is to narrow down the finalists to a single model that best suits your lifestyle. Research the average price paid in your area, then negotiate until you’re fairly close to that price. After that, head to the finance department to get a loan, sign the paperwork, and pat yourself on the back; you’ve found and successfully purchased your next vehicle!