Used Cars Buying Tips

If you are not ready to put out a large amount of money, or just need a second car, buying a used car is the most affordable option. There are many places to buy used cars from car dealers to private sellers to public auctions. If you have the cash to buy a used car, a private seller or public auction are good options. If you have enough for a down payment, but do not want to pay a new car price, going to a car dealer is the best idea. You can sometimes buy used cars for cash at a dealership, but keep in mind that you will still pay for any repairs or money they have invested in the vehicle, so you will probably end up paying more than you would from a private seller. Mirror Finish Detail –

No matter where you buy a used car, you need to be an educated consumer and do your homework before you even start searching for a car. Making sure you know what you want to pay and should be paying for a used car is your best way to get a good deal.

Buying from a private seller
If you have the cash to buy a car from a private seller, you can search websites such as Craigslist and eBay for a car that you want. If you are looking for a specific vehicle, looking online can help you compare prices as well as options and condition. You also want to look at a car valuation site once you have a few cars to choose from and check their selling price versus the valuation of the vehicle. Once you narrow down the field to a few cars, you want to contact the seller and arrange to look at the vehicle. Although they may post photos on line with the advertisement, it does not mean that they are recent photos. The picture you see online may be when the car was new, not what it looks like today. Once you make an appointment to look at the vehicle, make yourself a checklist of things to pay special attention to on the vehicle. You want to make sure that you are not buying someone else’s problem. Be sure to inquire why they are getting rid of the car, if the reason does not sound legitimate, there is probably more to it than they are telling you. Make notes on the car so you are prepared to negotiate if you find any problems with the car. Take the vehicle for a test drive, if the seller will not allow you, you probably just want to thank them and move on to the next car. Cars are not cheap, new or used, so make sure that you are getting a good car for what you are paying.

Buying from a car dealership
If you choose to go through a dealer and finance a used car, you can start your search for one you want online as well. If you are looking for a specific make, search for dealers in your area. Try to find dealers that offer “certified” used vehicles. What this means is that the vehicles are in above average condition and in some cases will automatically qualify for an extension of the factory warranty if it has run out. Keep in mind that you will obviously pay more at a dealership for a used car, but in most cases, you will have a warranty or have the option of purchasing an extended warranty. This will save you money in the end if you require major repairs. However, you do want to make sure that you are not overpaying for the vehicle, as when it nears the end of the loan you want to make sure that you do not owe more than the car is worth. Buying a used car from a dealer and financing it is also a good plan for someone who wants to establish or repair their credit, as you will more than likely have a lower payment and a shorter loan period, which makes it much easier to pay off.

Buying from a public auction
Another option for those who are mechanically inclined or have a good mechanic and do not mind getting dirty is purchasing a used car from a public auction. Cars end up at public auctions for many reasons. They can be trade-ins from a dealer that are not eligible to be sold on their lot, they can be repossessed vehicles finance companies need to sell, or they can be city, county or state vehicles that they have replaced with new ones. You can search online for a public auction in your area, as well as read all the rules of the auction on the site as well. You want to check to see if they offer viewing of the cars before the sale to give you an idea of what you might be getting yourself into. You will usually not be allowed to drive the vehicle, but you can look them over and see what is available as well as the general condition of the vehicles. Keep in mind these cars are usually not in the best mechanical shape and are usually not clean either. In some case the auction will write on the windshield any known mechanical problems so you know what cars to stay away from unless you want to invest in the repairs. Remember you will need cash in your pocket in order to bid on auction vehicles. Most auctions have a set price or percentage of the sale price that you have to give them to hold the car, and you then have a set amount of time to pay the balance. This is not a good option for anyone who just wants a car they can drive home and not worry about; at the least, these cars require a thorough cleaning and basic maintenance before they are ready for the road.

No matter where you buy a used vehicle, weigh your options and decide which the best is for you. You always want to check prices online and check car valuation sites to make sure that you are getting the best price you can. You also want to be sure that the vehicle is not only in good condition outside, but in good condition mechanically as well if you just want to drive it away and not have to worry. If you can fix your own car and do not mind cleaning up a car and investing some money in it, you can get a great deal at an auction, but it is not for everyone by any means. Be an educated buyer and treat a car the way it should be, an investment.