Buying a used car is not for the faint of heart, you can so easily fall into the trap of buying a car that hides too many unpleasant secrets.
Here’s what you need to know about buying a used car in 2019
Find The Right (Kind Of) Car
Realistically, no normal person is going to go out to the first car dealership they can find and just buy the first car they see.
I mean you could do that, but I really don’t advise it.
What you want to do is think about the type of vehicle that you, specifically, need and be realistic about it while you’re at it.
Because realistically, a mother of four cannot exactly by 2-seater and expect it to serve her family well, it simply isn’t practical.
No, she would need a mini-van and nothing less than a 7-seater in order to have a functional family vehicle, and probably one hell of a boot too.
In the same way, you need to think about what your specific needs are for a vehicle.
Do you travel a lot? Or do you need something small yet functional?
Do you work with furniture and you need something that is sturdy and has a lot of space?
And it is important that you find something very suited to your needs because no matter what your budget, if the car doesn’t do the job you need from it then it doesn’t work and you’ve wasted your time and money.
Once you’ve narrowed down the type of car that is right for you, then you can start researching what make and model is best to buy second hand.
Both of these steps are equally important, so take your time and do it properly.
Be Sure of Your Budget
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t set up your budget before you know what you want, otherwise your budget will determine the car and not your needs, which is impractical and will end up frustrating you.
In any event, you will need to know what type of car you’re looking at in order to know what price range you’re likely to fall under.
Now you can sort of see formula start to from here; your needs + the make and model that is good to buy second hand + budget = your perfect car.
To determine your budget you will also need to know whether or not you qualify for financing, and if you do how much you qualify for and how much you will have to pay yourself.
This will give you an idea of how much money you need to scrape together in order to actually buy your car.
Buy From A Dealership
Buying a second-hand car is always a gamble because there’s no way that you can know the real history of the car for sure.
And who knows what secrets are lurking under that well-kept hood?
But the thing is, dealerships have a reputation to maintain so they are more likely to disclose the real issues that the car has if any.
Especially since consumers are protected by the Lemon Law PA.
Whereas buying from a random person on Craigslist, you never know if you will even be able to find that person again after you part ways.
This is why I will always recommend that you buy from a dealership instead of a person.
Have The Car Checked Out
Although there really is no way of knowing the truth about a car, you can gather as many clues as possible by having the car checked out by a professional mechanic.
Dealerships will often have their own mechanics, but I highly suggest that you hire someone independent, someone you know is preferable. You can also ask around and get some recommendations from family and friends.
Yes, it will add to the cost, but if you can say you headaches or possibly a disaster, in the future than it is well worth it.
Besides, if you want to cut cost, you can always line up a bunch of cars in the same area and ask your mechanic to go look at them all and one go instead of asking him to come to look at each one individually.
But my guess is at the most, you will have one or two cars on your shortlist because buying second hand is not exactly as simple as picking a color.
Get As Much Information as You Can
Getting a mechanic to look at your car will go a long way towards uncovering the secrets of a car you’re interested in, unless you get him to completely take apart a car there’s also only so much he can tell you.
That means that it’s up to you, find out as much about this car specifically as well as the maker model as you possibly can.
Never underestimate online forums and the advice they give, it’s often really simple to discover if a car has an Achilles heel by simply doing a search online.
Other than that, you can insist on a full-service history of the car. And if you really want to go CSI crazy, you can call the mechanic that did the last service see if there were any discrepancies that he noticed.
It’s All About Timing
Even if there is a car there’s absolutely want like your soulmates with this car, I would advise you not to buy it immediately.
You see car salesmen have quotas to fill at their dealership in order to qualify for bonuses or even a salary.
So what does that mean to you?
It means if you make an offer on the car at the end of the month you are more likely to get a good deal then when you want to buy it at the beginning of the month.
Because if they only have X amount left to meet their quota, they want to see the points and pushing you to pay more whereas at the beginning of the month they will try to squeeze you for your worth in order to meet their quota more quickly.
Never Make a Decision on The Spot
Here’s the thing, salesman always push you for an answer right now, and with the charm and charisma you will likely want to give them an answer right that second.
Even if you only take a walk to make up your mind, never ever spontaneously decide to buy a car, no matter how convincing the salesperson is.
remember that they are always in it for themselves, and so you need to decide for yourself and you need to be smart about it.
Do yourself a favor and take a second, and minute, an hour or as long as you need really. so that you can make sure that you made the right choice.