Things To Know When Buying A Used Car – Consumers are increasingly looking at used cars, trucks, and SUVs to save money. But if buying a new vehicle wasn’t difficult enough, shopping for a used one can be even more difficult. Hawthorne Auto Square has compiled this “Used Car Shopping List” and FREE downloadable checklist to help make the process easier.
A down payment is required when buying a used car. Then there are the monthly payments (including interest) and expenses like gas and service. Calculating the total monthly cost can help you determine which vehicle you can afford, at what cost, and work within your budget. Pre-approved financing from a bank or credit union can help establish a target price.
Things To Know When Buying A Used Car
Every car owner has their own needs and expectations. To learn what each vehicle has to offer, you will need to read the reviews. These can be easily found online. Carfax.com offers tools where you can search for specific makes and models and read reviews, pricing information, fuel economy ratings, and other information.
Tips For Buying A Used Car
Used cars can be bought from dealers or private sellers. You can get a cheaper price from someone selling their old model. However, many dealers do insure pre-owned cars, including late model and obsolete vehicles. Despite their high price, they have been inspected, repaired and updated. You can get one of these warranty as well.
Carfax allows you to find the average sale price and trade-in price for a used vehicle. Pricing factors in the make, model, year, mileage, and condition of the vehicle. To get this information, enter the vehicle identification number or license plate number. Your zip code is required to find similar car prices in your area.
Always take a used car for a test drive before you buy it. This allows you to get a feel for it and make sure everything is working. Test how it runs, brakes, and corners at different speeds. Also check the power windows, air conditioning, radio, and other items.
Sellers often set prices. But many are open to others back and forth. Often times, the asking price is not perfect. Before you agree to pay for it, talk to the seller about whether they can add features or an extended warranty, so you can get more for your money. Private sellers often advertise a higher price, but ultimately accept the seller’s best price. Start low when negotiating (about 10% to 15% lower than the asking price), but not so low that you alienate the seller or supplier.
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Read the bill and all accompanying documents before signing. Key details to consider include a clear title (any car loan paid off), confirming that the seller is the legal owner. Make sure they sign the title and all required information, such as mileage, is noted. Registration is usually handled by the dealer but if you’re buying a used car privately, your state’s motor department may handle registration and licensing.
Have a certified mechanic inspect any used vehicle you plan to buy. When you go to a used car dealer, take a paper and pen to record important information, a flashlight to check for corrosion/leaks, electric towels to check for engine oil, and a small magnet to see if any work is covered.
All service and repair records should be readily available. If any accessories are installed, instructions should be provided. Also make sure you get the car’s manual (usually found in the glove box).
Our Used Car Buying Guide should help streamline the process. We can help every step of the way, from trading in your old vehicle to finding and testing the best vehicle in our range for you. Get pre-approved in minutes, while we offer easy financing options. Visit our store or call 866-707-7664 for assistance from our knowledgeable sales team. Buying a used car is often a better investment option than buying a new car, but there are risks involved. Used cars, for example, can have regular wear and tear issues. When you’re in the market for a used car, it’s important to avoid things like not taking a test drive or buying based on price.
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Before you buy your used car, whether it’s from a dealer or a private owner on a used car website like Autotrader or CarsDirect, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to pay for it. Not everyone can pay off a full car loan—even a used one. So, they turn to funding.
Financing provides a loan and your approved amount sets the upper limit of your price range. Knowing your pre-approved financing options makes negotiating prices easier. If you buy a car from a dealer, they will give you money. But seller financing is often more expensive than getting money from other sources, such as your bank.
Shop around because different lenders offer different rates. Make sure you have your pre-approval or approval and monthly payments to pay before you buy your car. A car loan calculator can help you determine what type of loan term and interest rate will fit your budget.
Financing rates for used cars are generally higher than those for new cars. That’s because new cars are low risk for lenders if you don’t default on your loan. They can easily recoup their losses with a new vehicle.
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You can save a lot of money in the long run if you pay off your used car because you won’t have to pay interest. If you need financing, you will need to estimate how much you can afford by budgeting your monthly income and expenses.
But if you buy based on monthly payments only, you may end up paying more over time. For example, you may have a loan with a higher interest rate but have a lower monthly payment due to the longer term of the loan. Compounding interest will make the loan more expensive than a short-term loan with a lower interest rate, but a higher monthly payment.
You can rent a used car. But not all used car dealerships are and there are some cases. According to Edmunds, it must be verified by the previous owner, the mileage must be less than 48,000 miles and the vehicle must be less than four years old. But remember, while your monthly lease payments may be lower than your monthly loan payments, you may have to return the leased car at the end of your lease.
Some used car buyers do not test drive the car before buying. When you don’t test drive the car you’re buying, you run the risk of running into unexpected and potentially costly problems. In the case of used cars, consider taking a few test drives before making a purchase decision. This protects you from buyer’s remorse and gives you an overview of how the car performs before you buy it.
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Failing to have a used car inspected by a mechanic before you buy it can often be a mistake. This step can save you a significant amount of money if the car has major issues that you are not aware of. The cost of an inspection can be well worth the money it can save you.
With an official car inspection, you will have more peace of mind that the purchase will be a low risk one. In some cases, the dealer may be willing to pay for the inspection, especially if the dealer is a car dealer.
If you are buying a used car from a dealer, you may be tempted to go to the dealer yourself. That can be a mistake before you talk on the phone.
Once you’re on the dealer’s property, you’re less likely to walk away from a deal that isn’t right for you and more likely to make a down payment on the car. Do all your research and comparisons at home, and try to negotiate by phone or email.
Dos And Don’ts When Buying A Used Car
If you are buying a used car from a private seller, chances are the seller is not a professional dealer. By mentioning a few used car numbers on the phone, you can get a profit before you even see the car.
Before you start looking for a car, either online or in person, assess exactly what you want in your car. If you’re looking for a passenger car, don’t waste your time looking at trucks. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can tow a trailer, don’t bother looking at sports cars. Buy cars based on your criteria, don’t shop around.
With a vehicle history report, you can check any previous accidents, problems with the vehicle, and the number of previous owners. Not checking the car’s history can lead to shocking costs.
You can check a car’s history through CARFAX, AutoCheck, or another service. Dealers often pay for this service, but a private seller cannot.
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To get a free car valuation, you can use resources like Kelley Blue or Edmunds book. These companies will provide an estimate of the actual cash value (ACV) of your car based on its condition.
You can get a free CARFAX report