For many, owning a car is not an easy task, especially if the desired car isn’t brand new. Because it almost always involves haggling with the salesperson while trying to choose an ideal vehicle, the process of buying used cars is often challenging. Considering the things that make the purchase of a used car different from that of a new one is important if you want to make an informed decision and get the best deal possible. Below are factors to consider.
While checking the sticker price or invoice might help you to determine the price of a new car, ascertaining the value of a used car might prove tricky. Because some car dealerships take advantage of uninformed buyers, having an estimated value before you negotiate a sale price helps to ensure you avoid such issues. Obtaining an estimate beforehand by finding similar or comparable used cars on sale might help you to score a fair deal. For instance, if you are interested in a Toyota Prius, you can start by searching local car dealerships and websites for vehicles of a similar model, make, and year to get an idea of how much they generally cost. Remember to calculate the average cost after you identify similar cars on sale.
You can still find out a car’s history even if you do not know its previous owner. As a matter of fact, it is common for reputable salespersons to provide this information. You can also use the car’s engine number to perform a search of the vehicle’s history if your used-car dealer fails to avail this information or if you are purchasing the used vehicle from a private seller.
Make sure you start the vehicle when its engine is cold and then ask for its service records to get a better idea of its maintenance history. Apart from driving the car on your regular route, you should also test it on different roads, carefully noting whether or not it emits any noise from the engine and the condition of its braking system. Have an experienced and reputable mechanic inspect the vehicle if your knowledge regarding cars is limited. Apart from checking the vehicle for rust and corrosion, you should engage the assistance of a reputable and experienced mechanic to check the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, steering, tires, and bodywork.
Warranties and return policies
There might still be a little bit of warranty, even though this mostly depends on the age of the vehicle you intend to purchase. If there is an existing warranty, it should automatically transfer to you as soon as the acquisition is complete. You should find out how long your salesperson guarantees the vehicle if it is no longer under warranty.
Used cars have a significantly lower depreciation rate compared to brand new ones, and a thorough evaluation helps to ensure you acquire the perfect vehicle quickly, easily, and cheaply. While most car dealerships have a return policy, some do not, which might be a problem if you change your mind. In case your dealer lacks a return policy, make sure you go for a test drive before you commit to the sale.