Tips On Buying A Used Car
To paraphrase an old maxim, 20% of the customers are for used car account for 80 percent of the profits. This means that every time you even consider buying, sellers view you as prime candidate to join that unfortunate group. If you don’t want to get taken in, you have to be armed with the right information and attitude. Here are the top 6 tips when buying a used car so that you don’t get sucked into a bad sale:
Tip #1 – Buy a 2 year old car every 4 years
Car manufacturers are now building longer-lasting and more reliable cars these days. Most warranties are extended to 3 years, so most 2-year old cars are still covered. At the same time, people are spending more carefully these days, so the stigma of driving a used car is not what it used to be. Considering that body styles change only every 4-8 years, other people will not even know whether you’re driving a new or used one anyway.
Tip #2 – Do your homework
Before buying a car, narrow your choices first. Check out the Consumer Reviews that usually comes out every April. You will find a list of reliable and least reliable cars with a model-by-model reliability summaries, frequency of car repairs of these models, and detailed trouble spots. Choose a few models so that you have a little elbow room. Once you have your list, research their current market values. The internet is a treasure trove of information, use it wisely.
Tip #3 – Look at the mileage
Most warranties are good for two years or a certain mileage (usually around 36,000 miles). You will want to choose a car that is still covered by the warranty (if there is one), so ask the seller about it. Choose a car in your list with the lowest mileage to get more value from it.
Tip #4 – Know the previous driver
This is important to know because drivers take care of their cars differently. A car driven exclusively by one person is better than one that comes from a rental fleet. The former knows that he will have to bear the costs of normal wear and tear while the latter can just let it go at the end of the lease. Take it one step further by meeting the driver (if possible). You will get a feel of how the car was driven and taken cared of, especially if you are a good judge of character. If nothing else, you can at least ask him how many car repairs have been done on it.
Tip #5 – Visit franchised new car dealers
The car that you want is most likely on the lots of new car dealers. Most of them sell as many used cars as new cars. These dealers know where to source their inventory, and are most likely to keep same models so that their buyers can have options. Just make sure that you deal with a reliable salesman, preferably someone you know, so that you may get the best bargain.
Tip #6 – Take a mobile mechanic with you
Have the car checked over by a qualified local mobile mechanic to minimise the risks of any nasty surprises once you drive away. What could be better than have the car assessed for any potential problems and costs that may occur in the future. Mobile mechanics are becoming more and more popular so you shouldn’t have any problem finding one in your area.
Some other helpful resources include:-
Used car tests from Auto Express – click here
Used car reviews from What Car? – click here
10 best used cars from the Telegraph – click here
Buying a used car is not rocket science. You just need to know how to research and to instill discipline. Don’t buy the first car you like. If possible, bring a mechanic with you and let him take a look at it. Think long and hard before driving off with that used car. After all, you will be spending time with it, so make sure you bought the one that you really want and need.