7 Things to Know When Buying a Used Car

The used car market has expanded rapidly in the last several years, with prices skyrocketing. It’s therefore now more important than ever that you do your research if you’re considering buying used. Otherwise, you may be at risk of making a highly costly mistake. However, given how quickly new cars depreciate in value, you can still get good value, if you play your cards right. Here are 7 things you should always consider before purchasing a second-hand car. 

Your Needs 

Before anything else, you should consider what you need from your car. This will help you determine what kind of make and budget you should target. Size, for example, is something you will always need to factor in. Think about how many people you will regularly need to fit into the car, and how much parking space you have around your home. Alternately, if you need to make long trips regularly, you may also want to think about aspects such as the comfort of the interior and fuel economy. 

The Running Costs 

Before zeroing in on a specific make or model you’re interested in, you should also figure out what the monthly expenses will be for any used car you purchase. This will enable you to work out whether the car you’re buying is affordable to run, as well as buy. Consider things such as insurance premiums, road tax, and fuel costs. Because of their lower reliability, used cars tend to have higher insurance premiums. You may also consider the necessity of a used car warranty, to protect you in case severe issues arise with your car. 

Who You Want to Buy From  

Today, there are plenty of options for sellers of used cars, so you should also know what suits you best in this respect. Online car marketplaces are particularly popular, at the moment, for example, because they are reputable and tend to only sell cars that have passed rigorous inspections. However, because of this, they are also generally more expensive than other options. 

Used car dealerships offer lower prices and the chance to test and inspect the car in person but can sometimes be untrustworthy. If buying this way, it’s therefore a good idea to check the reputation of a dealership. For example, by searching for used cars in Waxahachie TX, you can easily see which dealers in the area are considered trustworthy. Similarly, the best deals can be found when buying from auctions or private sellers, but they also come with the most risk attached. 

The Payment Method That’s Best for You 

Evaluating how you want to pay for your car will also help you determine what kind of car is available to you and what seller you should use. Private sellers, for example, usually only accept cash or bank transfers of the whole amount. While this can be appealing, since you will not have to pay any interest, it can be difficult for many to save up this amount. 

Alternately, dealerships and online marketplaces offer financing, which can allow you to pay for the car in monthly installments. In addition, many financing offers come with 0% interest for up to 3 years. However, these deals are often only available for people with great credit and can often come with heavy fines for a missed payment. The interest rates for such deals can also be very high when they finally kick in. 

The Mileage

While the age of the car is also worth taking into account when buying used, the mileage is often more important to check when evaluating how much wear-and-tear a car has undergone. Vehicles become exponentially more likely to break down, the higher their mileage is, though how many miles they can reliably do can vary dramatically by model. A car will average roughly 10,000 miles a year, so by researching the average mileage the make of the car can reliably reach and comparing this to its current mileage can give you a good idea of how long it will last. 

However, you should also be aware of the fact that dealerships and sellers can occasionally tamper with the mileage of their cars to mislead prospective buyers. To avoid being a victim of this, you can compare the age of the car to its mileage. Then, if the car has a much lower mileage than the date would suggest, you can determine whether the mileage has been clocked.

The Quality Under the Hood 

Mileage is always worth checking when buying a used car, but it is arguably less important than the overall quality of key components such as the brakes, suspension, and engine. It is generally true that a well-maintained, good condition car with 100,000 miles is going to be more reliable than a poorly maintained vehicle with a mileage of 60,000. 

 It’s therefore worth checking the underlying parts of your car in detail. This will ensure that you are buying a car that has no major issues and doesn’t require any major repair work. If the parts of the car under the hood are much more worn down than the mileage would suggest, this can also be a sign that the vehicle has been tampered with. If you are not confident checking these components yourself, you can also pay for an independent inspection to be carried out. 

The Car’s History

Buying used additionally has a number of risks attached, aside from the higher risk of breakdown. These issues pertain to the history of the car you’re buying. For example, the car being sold may have been stolen, illegally modified, or may still have not been paid off entirely by the original owner. This can cause legal and financial trouble for you if you end up buying a car with any of these issues.

 Fortunately, by searching the registration number on the internet, you can easily check the history of any car. Alternately, by buying through an online marketplace, you can avoid this potential problem altogether.

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