You have decided a used car may be the best option, so what’s next?
Well first off all, good for you. Buying a car is an expensive experience and looking for a gently used car can save you a lot of money and if you take care of it right it can be a future down payment on a new one. There are a few things you need to take into consideration when buying a used car. Do you go to a car lot? Maybe buy it from a person or even a family member. It does not matter which way you go about this there are certain things you need to look at.
First off you need to consider whom you are buying it from. Is the dealership known for selling good vehicles or are they like a lot of them who are only after the bottom dollar. You can find out this buy doing a Carfax report on a couple of their vehicles. To get a report you need the cars vehicle identification number or known as the VIN number, this can be found on the dashboard near the Windshield.
When getting the VIN number let the car dealership know that you are doing to history report on the car and that you want to verify the VIN number on the car matches the title. Most dealers will not be worried by this and will happily provide you with all the information you need. However if they seem hesitant or shady about the process, politely say goodbye and go on to the next one.
Another thing to consider is if the dealer wants to provide you with one, well that is all right. Take a copy of the history report but do one of your own as well. Yes doing a Carfax does cost money but the price of having that information can save you more than the money of repairs it can also take away the stress of buying a bad car.
Now if you don’t have enough money to do a report for multiple vehicles you can ask the dealer to provide the previous owners information and they are required to provide it. If they do not want to then you are at the wrong place and say thanks anyway.
Once you have the report and hopefully it is on a car you are interested, you can look over the report and if it turned out okay, then it is time to take a test drive. Once this is done, let the dealer know you want to take it to a certified mechanic and have them check the car over. Many car lots have their own but unless they are certified outside of the dealership then still go to one you have already decided upon.
I know all of this may sound like work but it is in your best interest to make sure you are getting a good vehicle. When everything has checked out its time to negotiate the price of that car. This is where someone in your family can help you out or if there is no one all that research you have done on pricing will pay off. Remember that the sticker price is just that a sticker price, and has room for discussion.