Many people prefer to buy used cars instead of new cars. The primary reason is due to cost. You can find some very good used cars at reasonable rates while brand new cars are often much more expensive. The major drawback to buying a used car is that you don’t know its history. For some, this can be a scary thought. That’s why it’s important to find out as much information as possible before deciding to purchase the vehicle.
The first thing to find out about a used vehicle is why it is being sold in the first place. If you are purchasing from a dealer, this may be obvious. But if you are talking to a private seller, the reason behind the sale may be able to help you leverage a better price. For example, a private seller may have bought themselves a new car or maybe they are selling it on behalf of a relative that can no longer drive. When this is the case, they might just want to get rid of it and will settle for a lower price so that they don’t have to deal with it anymore.
When purchasing a used vehicle it’s important to always find out what the car history is and get access to the service records. How many previous owners did it have? Was it a rental car at one point? Was it in any documented accidents? If purchasing from a dealer, find out whether it was a trade-in vehicle or if it was bought at auction. Always get access to the CarFax report.
If purchasing through a used auto dealer, find out if any work has been done since acquiring the car. A dealer wants to sell a car at its highest value, so it may fix up and upgrade a used car before putting it on the lot. Knowing this information will help determine what a fair value of the car is. Don’t be afraid to ask if the seller can add anything else to the deal, such as new tires or a few oil changes.
Ask whether trade-ins are accepted. If you are purchasing a vehicle, it’s likely that you will be getting rid of another one. Unless it is no longer drive-able you probably want to get some money for it. Ask the dealer what the trade-in policy is and how much they would offer you. This is a lot easier than trying to sell it on your own.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about the used vehicle is whether or not there is a warranty. Because the car is used, you want to make sure that you are buying something that will last a reasonable amount of time. Many certified used vehicles come with the remaining manufacturer’s warranty. You should feel comfortable with how many years or miles are left on the warranty before purchasing it.
If you are able to pay for the used vehicle with cash, ask if you can get a discount for doing so. Since the seller will get the payment immediately, they may be more likely to give you a deal.