The ever so growing automobile market of United States never stops to amaze us, and if we are to agree with what Edmunds.com says then, the industry is projected to continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the year 2019. If we are to look at the statistics, a whopping 10.2 million cars were sold in a 3rd quarter of 2018 alone which a whole 5% more than previous and this trend is bound to continue this year as well.
Though it is true that the market of used cars dominates these numbers, one should not underestimate used cars market which has been on a continuous rise for a number of years.This surge in popularity of used cars has finally made us write this article in order to make your readers aware of what all steps you need to take in order to ensure you get the minimum price and maximum services for your dream car.This article deals with every aspect of used car buying and you are advised to prepare well using this guide before going to buy a used car.
Why a Pre-Owned Car?
Before we go on to the ways to buy used cars and things to remember while doing so we need to answer a fundamental question, why a used car at all? Well, buying a used car has its own advantages and disadvantages and before you go for committing your future to one such car we need to ensure that you really know what it really is to buy a pre-owned car. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons and come up with a wise decision that suits you the best.
Pros of buying a used car
It is Cheaper than a new one
Perhaps one of the foremost reasons that people buy used cars is because they are available at a much cheaper rate than a new one of the same model would be available for. If you are to get a nearly new used car at prices that are literally deflated when compared to a new one of the same model, it’s called steal deal and frankly, each used car buyer is after such a deal because it saves money as well as serves the purpose.
Now you can even get financial help and warranties with the repairs and maintenance
Witnessing a sudden surge in the market of pre-owned cars, now even manufacturers have conceded to it and they have started giving out warranties and other financial incentives with manufacturer certified pre-owned cars just like they offer for the new ones. This really helps with maintaining your car for a certain period of time.
Pay Less for Insurance
Although not as important as the points above, still you can even save money on auto insurance as the insurance for pre-owned vehicles tends to be cheaper than what is for new ones. In fact, according to zebra.com, an average used vehicle insurance costs around $100 lesser than what you pay for new vehicles that too annually.
Cons of buying a Used Car
Getting stuck with a money eating machine
lf you happen to buy a fairly new car with some mileage on it and later get to know about a serious fault or some major issue with a vital part of your car, you can rack up some serious financial costs for yourself in getting that car repaired.
No Warranty in some cases
If you buy a used car from an individual, you won’t be getting any warranty which can be harmful to your pocket if and when your car ends up in a repair shop. Although this doesn’t mean you can’t get a warranty, it is always recommended to buy used cars from certified dealerships so that you get some warranty coverage period if not from the manufacturer then from dealership itself.
Higher Financing Prices
Although it might seem odd car financing prices are usually higher for a used car than what they generally are for new cars because they come with a greater risk for financing agencies and that is what drives the price really. Sometimes these costs can be tens of dollars while sometimes they even run into hundreds of dollars.
Things to do before going to buy a used car
It is really important to ensure that while you go to buy a used car, you are completely sure of what you are doing and in order to ensure that you need to do some homework beforehand which will make you confident from the start while ensuring that you can’t get fooled.
Get the real picture of your finances
You need to be frank with yourself and give yourself the real picture of your finances and then decide how much money you can spend on your car comfortably. It is really important to finalize a specific range in terms of money because there is really no limit to the options and the prices so you need to ensure that you spend such amount that after buying your car your finances don’t tumble down.
Research and be clear on what you want
Once you are clear with the picture of your finances and you know the amount of money you can afford, start looking out for cars of your choice. Start researching through the internet and pay physical visits to dealerships and contemplate what’s the trend in the market. Do a thorough research of what rates are being offered for the car you want and be absolutely crystal clear about the car you want because you don’t want to get confused inside a dealer’s office as the dealer will always try to push you towards a car he can make the maximum profit out of. So it is really important to be clear about which car you want.
Look for Finance Plans in Advance
If you are thinking of getting your car financed from any lender or borrower, start researching about the same hand in hand with the research of your car. Get the rates being offered by various agencies and get yourself loan approved in advance so that you have a good bargaining chip when the dealer tries to offer you a dealership financed loan. If you are in a good situation and are loan approved, you’ll always be on a higher position during negotiations and you might even get a lower rate from dealership itself, while going without getting yourself pre-approved will always end up in getting yourself a financial plan that has a higher interest rate than the market rate.
Pick 3-4 dealerships you think might be reliable
While you research vehicles and loan rates, also look for reliable dealerships you can buy your cars from. Based on internet reviews, word of mouth and actual physical meetings create a priority list of the dealerships you might want to approach first.
Things to remember while going to buy a car
There are some vital tips that you need to remember after you have decided the car you want to buy and from where you want to buy it. The day you will be going to buy your car will be different and you need to ensure the following things on that day:-
While negotiating always be straight, upfront and confident what you want
While negotiating with a car dealer, you need to be straight, upfront as well as show confidence about what you want. This makes the negotiations easy as you come on the same page with a dealer and once that happens negotiating becomes easy and less tiring. You should always remember to be confident and although be straight and upfront, don’t reveal too much until the right time.
Take a trusted and experienced buyer with you
If you are buying a car for the first time then take someone who is experienced and whom you can trust for giving you good and sound advice. This person will play a vital role because a counsel you can bank on is really important for situations like car buying negotiations.
Don’t reveal too much
Do not reveal your intentions too much and focus on the task at hand, prevent yourself from getting lost in the dealer’s conversation that is set specifically to confuse you. Always focus on the task at hand.
Get the car checked by a trusted mechanic
Get the car you want specifically and thoroughly checked by your trusted mechanic, tell him to open up everything and test everything for any fault in the car’s system, this way you can be sure that the car is in a good condition not only from the insides but from where it matters as well.
Do ask your mechanic/technician to conduct the following tests
- Engine Compression Test
- Spark Plug and Ignition system
- Contamination diagnosis of Oil and Fluids
- Transmission Fluid test
- Check the fan and belts, charging system, power steering and air conditioner
- Cooling system, including heater and radiator
- Lubricant Bag test
What to do while on Test Drive?
Test drives are really important, they are the one and only practical and real-world testing of car you are ever going to get to keep your senses sharp and while on the test drive check for anything that might seem wrong with various parts and aspects of the car. The following are some points that you should always look out for while test driving.
- Listening to the Sound of the Engine
- Drive over rough roads
- Make several starts and stops at varying speeds
- Turn the used car at varying speeds
- Check for Dog Tracking
- Watch for Signs of Odometer Tampering
Things to remember while signing the document
This is perhaps one of the important steps, anything after this comes on you so you should always make sure you are thorough with what is written on the sheet of paper in front because once you have signed, you have legally given your consent and you can do nothing after that. So here are some points that you should remember while signing the document:-
Read and re-read document until you understand everything
A minimum of two readings and maximum until you get satisfied is required so that there is no chance of you to miss out on anything that might cause problems later on, some clause or anything that has not been agreed upon and included in the document should be spotted.
Always stay in contact with your legal adviser
Stay in contact with your lawyer or legal adviser and make sure that you understand every legal term written on the particular paper. A legal advisor will guide you out of all the traps and will ensure that the document is fair.
Sign once absolutely
Once you are absolutely sure about what is written in the document, including the terms and conditions, you are free to sign the deal and make the car yours. Once this step is complete, all you need to do is enjoy your new car.
These were some tips that you should keep in mind while going to buy a car, we hope that we made some probable difference and things have become clear to you as to how to approach things.
We wish you a happy car buying and driving.