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How to buy a used car?


Published April 30, 2021

Buying a used car certainly has its benefits, and it’s one of the most cost-effective ways of owning a vehicle. However, unlike buying new, there is a certain risk involved in buying a used car.

Maintenance and accident history, state of the vehicle, and realistic market value are just some of the factors to consider before making your final offer. This article will lead you through the steps of buying a used car and provide you with useful hints on how to get the best deal possible.

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Establish a Budget

Depending on the class and type of car you’re looking into, you’ll need to set aside a sizeable amount of your budget for unexpected repairs and parts. To be on the safe side, consider the battery and the tires as something you’ll have to change, but if they’re already in good condition, consider it a bonus.

Find the Right Car

You probably have a specific model in mind already, so browse the online marketplace to see how the prices fluctuate. Condition is key for any used car, as the cost of components and repairs can easily outweigh the cost of purchase.

The amount of insurance you can get for a used car is very important in case an accident happens. Insurance companies prefer paying out total damage on an older used car due to the disproportionate cost of components.

Their value estimate is often far less than what you’ve paid for the vehicle, leaving you in a financial deficit. Try to strike the best deal with both the seller and insurance company to ensure you’re fully covered in case of an accident.

Inspect the Car in Person

Unless you’re certain that the pictures and description are accurately describing the car, you should take a look at the car yourself before buying it. Even if you’re inexperienced, you’ll be able to notice rust spots, a worn-down interior, and a few things that the seller didn’t photograph.

Test Drive the Car

You can tell a lot about the car’s mechanical state by taking it for a short test drive. Difficulties, starting with a cold engine and odd noises, are telltale signs of something wrong underneath the hood. A few speed bumps and curves will give you some insight into the state of the suspension. Push the engine into high revs and hit the brakes hard to test them out.

Bargain with the Seller

A very good aspect of buying a used car is the ability to negotiate the price to a significant level. No matter how adamant the seller is that the price is fixed, once you’ve shown them that you’re a serious buyer, lowering the price by 10% shouldn’t be an issue.

Your first offer should be considerably under budget. If you’ve done your research online, you can easily make an argument that some models go far less. The negotiation can be quick or last for hours.

Do not show eagerness to buy the car, but also don’t make the seller think they’re wasting their time. Keep inspecting the car as you negotiate and point out the flaws and additional costs you’ll incur after purchase. If everything goes well, you should be able to get a much better deal than the original asking price.

Sign Legal Papers

Once you’ve agreed upon a price, you’ll have to create a bill of sale and write down all of the relevant information about the car, seller, and yourself. Car purchases are considered ‘as-is’, so this would be your last chance to change your mind. If the seller promised to repair the car or include spare parts in the purchase, you should add them to the bill as a precaution.

Lastly, you will have to take care of the registration and insurance. The seller needs to contact their insurance company and cancel the coverage. Insurance coverages come in a variety of packages, and configuring the best one depends on the type of vehicle you’ve bought, although a low deductible is generally advised.

Summary

The current situation has made many reconsider their means of transportation, with used cars being the most sensible option. If you’re going to buy one yourself, follow these simple steps to ensure you end up with a well-maintained vehicle that’s going to last you for a long time!

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