Buying a new car can be a really fun experience, but it can also be extremely stressful. It really depends how prepared you are before you get started hunting for your next car. I’ve written this post to help you specifically with buying a used car as the process can be quite different to when buying new.
Here are my top tips to buying a used car:
If it is Too Good to be True it Probably is:
When I was looking to buy a second hand SUV, I saw an option that was amazingly cheap, like so much cheaper than I expected. From the photos, it looked great, but when I went to see it in person, it was quite obvious it had been involved in a serious crash and had been poorly painted in a different type of paint to the rest of the body. The patched area had matte paint, it was so obviously a lemon that I walked out knowing I wouldn’t be buying the car and sad because it had seemed like a steal. The truth is, I was lucky that I could tell it was a lemon before taking it to a mechanic for a check up. Usually you wont be so lucky! But just be careful, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Check out what the market price is for the type of car and mileage you are looking for and be cautious if you find one that is extremely below that price.
Get a Second Opinion
It’s helpful to bring a family member along to take a look at the car, they can help you spot any warning signs and if they have experience working on cars, even better. But don’t let them be the only ones that give you a second opinion on the car. Before you buy, consider taking it to your trusted mechanic for a third opinion, by someone who spends their entire days fixing troubled cars. Make sure you choose the mechanic and don’t just go to whoever the seller suggests, as they may have a financial interest in telling you what you want to hear!
It’s possible to buy new and used cars online, sites such as Cars.com offer great prices and a huge selection of cars, making it easy for you to check out what is in your price range from the comfort of your own couch. Because online shops don’t have the same overheads as a traditional car vendor, you will find the prices are generally a bit lower. Make sure you get a second opinion on the car before purchasing and I would suggest, if possible, viewing the car in person first, especially if it is a used car.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re hunting for your next used car and I’m sure you’ll find a great gem!