Are you in the market for a used car?
First things first, you’re making a smart financial decision.
Used cars are cheaper than new cars of the same make and model. The average price of a used car in the U.S. is about $25,000, while that of a new car is about $38,000. Used cars also don’t depreciate as fast as new cars.
However, buying a used car requires you to know how to go about the process, lest you end up with a lemon car.
Continue reading this used car buying guide for tips and advice.
What Do You Need in a Car?
The first step to buying a car, be it new or used, is to know what your needs are. What exactly are you looking for in a car?
To establish your needs, look at your lifestyle. What’s the size of your family? Do you work in an urban area? Does your job involve traveling off-road? Do you love camping in the mountains?
Your lifestyle will dictate the kind of car you’ll need. For example, if you’re a family of six and this is the first car you’re buying, certainly you want a vehicle that can accommodate everyone. This means your options are now limited to 7-seater vans or SUVs.
What’s Your Budget?
Although used cars are cheaper than new cars, they still cost a pretty penny. What’s more, the average cost of used cars has been on the rise over the past two years.
Creating a budget enables you to determine what you can and cannot afford. If you’ve been saving for a car, how much are you at now?
Like most car buyers, you’re certainly planning to get an auto loan. It’s possible to get financing on a used car, but you need to have good credit and income.
That being said, don’t go for an expensive used car just because you qualify for its financing. If your budget is $25,000, stick to that. Don’t buy a $30,000 car just because a lender has pre-approved you for a higher amount.
When making your budget, don’t focus on the price of the car alone. There’s the cost of insurance, gas, repairs, and maintenance that you need to keep in mind.
Read this guide on used car cost to learn more about what to expect in terms of expenses.
Find a Reputable Used Car Dealer
With your car needs and budget fleshed out, you should be able to identify the cars that you can buy.
The next step is to visit a reputable used car dealer and check out the cars. While you can buy from a private owner, it’s best to work with a dealer. Some dealers sell manufacturer-certified used cars, so you can be sure that you’re buying a quality car.
Avoid cars being sold online on sites such as Craigslist unless you don’t mind throwing away your money.
Don’t Ignore This Car Buying Guide
Buying a used car is a smart decision. However, unlike buying a new car, you aren’t too sure about what you’re getting. That’s exactly why you need to follow the advice in this used car buying guide.
Happy motoring and keep tabs on our blog for more on car buying and ownership.