Many people dream of owning a new car, but this purchase can decimate your finances. If you have considered whether you can afford a new car and the numbers aren’t looking good, there is another option you can consider: a used car. Used cars have an image problem but if you were to buy one you would be in good company: used vehicle sales were on a high in 2016 with almost 41 million sold. Although the image of used cars as unfashionable and unreliable is largely undeserved, there are some dodgy vehicles and dealers out there. Here’s how to know the good from the bad and find the right used car for you.
Get a good price
Be sure to do your research online to make sure that you are getting a fair price. Publishers of vehicle pricing usually appraise used vehicles using data points on a variety of factors such as wholesale transactions, asking price data online and data from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Enter your potential car’s details online to find out the average sales price.
Check the vehicle history report
The vehicle history report (VHR) is a detailed document that provides vehicle information about the history of a particular car. To get one you will need your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A VHR will give you lots of information useful when you are considering whether to buy the car such as accident history, past ownership and vehicle maintenance.
Carry out pre-purchase checks
Having a mechanic carry out a pre-purchase inspection might cost you $100 now but could save you $1,000s on repairs later down the line if you buy a faulty car.
Take a test drive
This is not just to check the reliability of the car, but to see if you like the feel. If the seller doesn’t want to let you have a test drive, this could be a red flag. Be sure to turn of the radio to hear from rattles in the engine.
There are many fantastic used cars available across the USA. While a new car is wonderful to have, the financial commitment might not be the right decision for you at this point. With a little research and market savvy, you can find a fantastic used car that suits your needs.