Buying a used car from a dealer or even from a private sale is never the easiest avenue to go down. There is always an amount of inherent risk. It is like buying something online. At a cursory look, you can hardly believe your luck at finding such a good deal. But when it arrives, it is a heap of junk that wouldn’t get you to the end of the street.
If you do your research, learn your rights and know what to look for, you can end up with quite a bargain and avoid nasty surprises.
When To Buy?
When shopping for a used car, most buyers look for what they call the sweet spot of the age: The three-year-old mark. This is because most cars are bought using deals through finance or company leases which tend to end around 36 months.
These cars are then returned to the dealer or sold through auctions and tend to find their way onto the used car market.
At three years old, should be around half of the price it was when it was new. This depends on the model, the mileage, and the condition of the car but after only a couple of years, most cars should still have plenty of life left in them. Car reliability usually tails off after 5 years of this is a sensible point at which to move your car on and look for a replacement.
There are plenty of cars that will work after the 5-year mark. You should speak to local salespeople like the Jaguar dealer in Arizona, who will be able to give you an idea about reliable cars. But they may begin to cost you more and more to run. Equally, they will become more expensive to repair.
There are lots of different hurdles to clear when you are buying a used car compared to when buying brand new from the car dealership. Before you begin to look at cars then you need to get some things in order first. For example:
All cars are a big investment. You need to work out what your budget is and stick to it. You can find ways to finance your car either through personal loans, vehicle finance, or straight-up cash. You need to work out how much you can put down in deposit and then calculate the monthly payments that you will be able to comfortably afford.
Don’t push yourself to your limit as you need to have reserve money in case you need to spend your cash in an emergency and must cut costs on your car. Do this and you won’t look silly when the salesperson asks for your monthly budget.
Used Car Markets
There are so many used car websites out there just now that can be a great way to see what is around and what you can afford. You’ll get a good gauge on whether you are paying over the odds for the car that you want. You also don’t have to rush as there are plenty of options out there.
Don’t feel pressured into buying a car that you are having reservations about. Mainstream models will always provide plenty of options and offer competition on prices.
You need to get used to reading through lots of paperwork when buying a used car. There is no point attaching value to the pile of papers that comes with the car if you are not going to read them. Buying from a private individual is easy to check as you can make sure that they are the listed keeper of the car and are selling it from the address in the logbook.
Additionally, you can begin to look at discrepancies in the service record and determine if any extra work is required on the car. You can check sales receipts that prove ownership and the end of any finance agreements. You can also get an HPI check that will help you expose any outstanding finance or hidden history.
Inspect The Car
This may sound silly, but you should inspect the car in the daylight and good weather. Rain can hide a multitude of sins on the paintwork as can poor lighting from streetlights and torchlight. Good lighting should bring up any obvious issues and will allow you to take time to look over all of the trim services on every panel.
Older cars are bound to have little scuffs and marks on them so don’t be too put off if they are visible on a used car. However, you should take this opportunity to make sure all of the accessories and switchgear works. You don’t want to get caught out after handing over the cash.
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do when buying a used car. You can take it for a test drive and ensure that the car drives and handles correctly. It should perform as you would expect. You should also take note of if the car starts easily or if any sounds are coming from the engine or brakes. This will give you an idea of how well-maintained the car has been.
You should also make sure that everything is there in the car. Make sure all of the accessories work and if the spare wheel and repair kit are in place. Also, double-check that the glovebox has the vehicle handbook. Additionally, you can ask if there are any spare keys that you should know about. These will be expensive to replace and asking these simple questions can save you hassle in the long run.
Buying a Used Car
Buying a used car is a great way to get into the car market. You can often pick up a really good deal for more than half the price of a new one. However, this deal does not come without the risks. There will always be people out there looking to take advantage of you. You need to take your time and do your research to make sure that you make the correct decision for yourself.