Purchasing a car is a big financial investment, which is why many people opt to purchase a used car instead of a brand new car. A gently used vehicle that is just a few years old can have all of the modern amenities and safety features found in brand new cars, but they are typically much more affordable. If you're in the market for a used car, it is important to be prepared and know what you're doing before you make your purchase. This will help ensure that you end up owning a quality used vehicle as opposed to a used car that may cause you headaches. Use the following tips to help you buy the perfect used car:
Know Your Budget
Used cars are available at a wide variety of prices, so it is essential to have a budget before you begin looking at used vehicles for sale. Many people want to buy a newer model used car, but not a lot of people have enough money on hand to pay in cash. If you will need an auto loan to purchase your used car, make sure that you have financing in place. Doing so will let you know how much a lender will loan you, as well as what your monthly payment will be. Before you make the final decision to buy a specific used car, make sure that you can comfortably afford to do so, and don't forget about additional expenses outside of the monthly loan payment such as insurance, registration, gas, repairs, and regular maintenance.
Visit a Reputable Used Car Dealership
While it is possible to purchase a used vehicle from a private party, you may want to seriously consider visiting a local used car dealership when you're ready to buy. A used car dealership will have a wide variety of vehicles to choose from at different price points, so you will most likely find at least one or two cars that fit your needs. At a used car dealership, there are also experienced sales people who can assist you and answer questions. In most cases, used car dealerships also inspect vehicles and have them serviced before selling them, so you can have the peace of mind of knowing that your vehicle is in good condition.
Take an Extended Test Drive
If you're buying a used car, don't simply take it for a quick test drive around the block. You are much better off going for an extended test drive that involves both surface streets and the freeway. An extended test drive will give you a better idea of how a used car handles and drives, so you can determine if it is the right vehicle for you to purchase.