How to Buy Your First Used Car

Know your price range. To determine the price range for your new vehicle, you must remember to factor in license plates, registration for the vehicle, taxes, and insurance costs. A lot of these costs vary depending on the age and type of vehicle you drive. Another thing to consider is that if you go out and look at used cars that are not within your set budget, you will make the cars you can afford pale in comparison. Also, in order to get the car you want, you may sacrifice quality and end up with a car that does not run nearly as well as one that was within your predetermined price range.

Check out at least 10 different cars that fall within your price range before making a decision. Take a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about used cars to look at them and test drive each car. They will notice things that might otherwise be missed by you or a car buying novice.

How to Buy Your First Used Car

Test Drive Your Top Three One More Time. Make sure you ask any and all questions you may have about the vehicle, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. Asking about how many previous owners there were, if it has been in any accidents and what the damage was, have any major parts been replaced or rebuilt, has anyone smoked in the car, or anything else you want to know is a fair question.

Do Your Research. Simply knowing the value of the car you are interested in is not enough. Still check out the Blue Book value, but also find out common maintenance problems with cars that are that make, model, and year. Check out the CarFax report on the particular car you are thinking of buying to make sure it was properly maintained and not in any serious accidents.
Close The Deal and Drive Off In Your New Car. Try to pay for your car in a cashier’s check instead of cash. It is the same thing, but it leaves a paper trail. Make sure you have agreed upon everything and have a bill of sale in writing. You do not simply want a word of mouth agreement because you then have no proof of the sale or any changes they agreed to make after the sale.

If you follow these guidelines and trust yourself to make the best decision, you should end up with a great car that will serve you well.

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