A Few Things to Consider When Buying a Used Car
There’s no doubt about it, today’s cars are engineered for perfection and can operate at peak performance much longer than their predecessors. This fact makes opting for a used car one of the smartest choices you can make, especially with the economy in a constant state of flux. Nevertheless, this process can be intimidating for both sellers and buyers with a laundry list of factors to consider before making a purchase. Below is a checklist designed to help you focus on the most important factors of used car buying.
Do Plenty of Research
The Internet offers plenty of tools for looking up a vehicle’s history and finding out whether it has had any recalls or additional issues.
Match The VIN
The Vehicle Identification Number is paramount in unearthing a vehicle’s history. Check a VIN decoder chart to match the car’s VIN information with what you find in the records and title. You can even use VIN to see if a vehicle has been recalled at any point before.
However, it is important to remember that information about recalls related to non-safety, information on older vehicles, and most current recalls may not be readily available. Certain international vehicles and brands may not be listed as well.
Inspect the Vehicle History Report
Ask the seller for a vehicle history report. This can help you identify title problems, previous accidents, ownership history, and service points. This report is also available online for a modest fee. However, some dealers may offer history reports for free.
Test Drive the Car
A test drive helps you judge whether you truly like the model and determine if you are going to buy the car or not. Try to take a route that offers a little bit of everything – rough pavement, hills, curves, and a highway stretch. Pay attention to these points while on your test drive:
Identify the Value of Your Vehicle
Start by finding the market value of the car you are keen on purchasing. Use price guides and similar used vehicles to avoid being overcharged. Price guides help you determine the actual cost of your car based on factors like mileage, age, and options. Equipping yourself with this information will assist you in negotiating deals with the seller. While looking up a price, check whether the following information is included for evaluation:
Buying a used car can be a hassle-free process, if you have all the necessary information for the car’s inspection. Knowledge is power. Equip yourself with the necessary information and hit the dealership with a plan to get the car you want at the price you love.