7 Tips For Buying A Used Car

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Buying a used car doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to by something that is already beat up and driving into the ground. In today’s market, it’s easy to find a high quality used car that runs just as well and will last just as long as a brand new car—if you know how to find one. Even more so than buying a new car, doing a little bit of research before you step onto a used car lot can ensure that you get a great vehicle, that will work great for years to come. Here are some tips to help you find the right used car for you.

  1. Decide how much you can afford. Like when purchasing a new car, a used car dealership will offer you a financing option to make the purchase of a used car more affordable. Before stepping onto the lot, however, you want to find out how much you can afford to pay each month, without car payments becoming a strain on your budget. Think about not only what you can afford but what you’re comfortable paying each month.


  1. Decide what kind of vehicle you want to look for. Sedans are a popular choice, as their small size makes them easy to drive, have excellent fuel economy, and there are always a range of styles and colors to choose from. If you need something bigger, an SUV, van, or truck might be more appropriate. Nailing down what kind of car you want to buy will help you narrow down your choices and streamline the car-buying process.
  1. Research cars. Now that you know how much you can or want to spend and what type of vehicle you want to buy, start looking at cars that fall into that category. There will be makes and model years that are better values than others. Many people want to buy the most recent model year the dealer has on his lot, but in reality, a low-mileage 2007 model might be better than a souped-up 2014 model. Talk to the dealership and do a little only research to see what makes and models are best to buy used.
  1. Consider buying a second-tier When buying a used car, reliability and durability should be most important. The most reliable used cars might not always be the top-of-their-class, heavily featured models. Cars that have solid engines, durable suspensions, and invincible electrical systems are just as common among makes and models that might not be your first choice, if you were buying a brand new vehicle.
  1. Don’t be smitten by a pretty face. One of the biggest benefits of buying used is that someone else has already broken that car in. It might have a scratch or a small ding in the paint—that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with how the car actually runs. Too often, buyers focus just on buying the car that looks brand new despite being used, rather than buying the vehicle that fits their needs the best.
  1. Do a test drive. Another benefit of buying used is the variety that you can find on a used car lot. Most used dealerships don’t just have one or two manufacturers, they have a wide range, from Chevys to Hondas to Kias to Fords. When you arrive on the lot, don’t be afraid to ask to do a test drive of every vehicle you are interested in. Because there will be such a range to choose from, it’s important to take each vehicle out and see how it drives, rather than just picking the prettiest or most familiar make and model.
  1. Price your trade-in and discuss price. Arguably the biggest benefit of buying a used car today is getting a high quality vehicle, for far less money than you would have to pay if you purchased that same model brand new. If you have another vehicle you want to trade in, you might get an even better deal.

When you use these tips, purchasing the right used car for your needs and that fits neatly into your budget, is easy.