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Tips For Buying Your Used Car

Tips For Buying Your Used Car

If you've never bought a used car before the idea of trying to find want you want and negotiating a price can be intimidating. Even those who have bought nothing but used cars in their lifetime may still be a little nervous at the prospect of trying to find the right deal. Whatever your experience level, here are some great tips for getting what you want when shopping for a used vehicle.

First know what you need this car for. Having an idea of purpose and usefulness in mind when picking out your vehicle can help you eliminate some models. If you're looking for a heavy lifting vehicle to haul things back and forth you probably don't want to be looking at a Prius, for example. When you go in, know why you want used instead of new. Used is cheaper in both the long and short term, and depending on the job you want your used vehicle to do, a used vehicle may be more reliable for your circumstances.

Keeping this knowledge in mind will help you pick out the best fit for you without being tempted to look at models that don't meet your needs. It can be tempting to run straight for the sports car, but don't fall in love with it if you came for a work truck.

Only look at cars within your price range, or only slightly outside of it. If a vehicle meets every single one of your needs but it's about $500 or less out of your budget, then maybe it deserves a second look. But keep in mind your spending limitations and don't even bother to look at something you know that under no circumstances you can afford it.

Another good plan is to have a specific model in mind when you look for your used car, or to use your smartphone to do research on a car you like once you get to the dealership. You should make sure you know everything about a vehicle before committing to it. The point in researching is to make sure that you haven't overlooked something that may get in the way of how you intend to use your used vehicle.

You'll also want to keep financing in mind when picking out your used vehicle. You may think that you can't get or don't want financing, but there are plenty of options available that can help you afford the perfect car. There's something to be said for staying in budget but if you can't get the car you want without financing don't settle for less. You can probably get a better financing deal than you thought, and financing can actually be a very good way to help build credit. And if a vehicle is outside your price range but you came with the intention to buy, you probably have a hefty chunk of change saved up that you were going to spend on the vehicle. Having a large down payment can really help lower your total monthly payments and the length of your loan.

The final step before making your decision is to test drive the used vehicle. Make sure that during your test drive you look for acceleration from a stop, visibility, engine noise, hill-climbing power, braking, cornering, the "feel" of the ride, and cargo space. The important thing here is to make sure you drive the vehicle just as you normally would, to get the best idea of how you will feel behind the wheel when you drive it off the lot. If the vehicle just doesn't feel like your kind of car when you test it, then maybe there's another vehicle on the lot that would make a better choice for you.

Image by: GmanViz