3 Tips To Ensure Your Used Car Purchase Is A Smart One

Posted on: 8 February 2018

While an imperative part of many people's daily lives, a car's value depreciates quickly. As a matter of fact, 20 percent of value is lost as soon as you drive the vehicle of the car lot, and an additional 10 percent is lost during the first year. Therefore, it is easy to see why so many people choose to purchase a used vehicle. However, proper knowledge and understanding is necessary for making a smart used car purchase. With these tips, you can protect your finances and buy a used vehicle without a great deal of physical, emotional, or financial stress.

Research Vehicle Type

Window shopping is meant for malls, not car dealerships. Never go to a dealership to simply browse the inventory, because this could cause you to make erratic purchase decisions. Do your research to determine what type of vehicle you need to buy before you visit a dealer.

Choose a vehicle that suits the type of driving you will do now and in the future. For example: if you plan on starting a family soon, do not buy a sports coupe. If you tend to do a lot of driving in the city limits, make sure to choose a vehicle that is fuel efficient.

Research Dealership Inventory

Once you have a particular make and model of vehicle in mind, you can begin researching local dealers.

Read online reviews to determine which dealers negotiate best. The dealership may not advertise the best prices for your particular vehicle, but they should be willing and able to negotiate to prices comparable to other dealers in the area.

Service is also a factor to consider. It is more convenient to buy a car from a dealer that has a service department. This allows you to take the car in for repairs and basic maintenance, so it can be documented for warranty purposes.

Research Vehicle History

Most importantly, a smart used car purchase will require researching the vehicle's actual history. This will involve multiple steps, but it will be the most effective way to ensure the vehicle is a smart purchase.

The dealer should offer you a Carfax report free of charge. If they do not offer this report, ask them for the VIN number so you can order a report yourself. If they refuse this number, they are obviously hiding something, so you should move on to another dealership.

After you read through the Carfax, ask a mechanic to look over the vehicle for you. A visual inspection is key, but you and the mechanic should also be able to test drive the vehicle.

You can buy a good quality used vehicle at an affordable price. With these simple tips, your used car purchase can be a smart one.