Buying a used car is not as easy as buying a new car. Finding a car that will suit your needs is a time consuming process and requires a lot of effort on your part. Given below are some guidelines to help you make this process easier and less confusing.
Work out a Budget
Before you set out to look for a car it is very important to know how much you are willing to spend on it. This includes not just the amount you will need to purchase your car but also other expenses like maintenance, insurance, road tax and running the car for at least a year. It is always advisable to spend a little less on the car and keep some money aside in case you need to perform any repairs on the car.
Identify your Needs
It is always a good idea to question yourself what you need from the car and how do you plan to use it. As far as the needs are concerned you will need a car that comes at your desired price, can accommodate your family and is a smooth drive. Also decide whether you want a hatchback, notchback/sedan or a luxury car. Once your needs are taken care of you decide how you are going to use it whether it is going to be used for daily chores, commuting to office, for road trips and weekend getaways or for all of these.
Research, Research and Research
Now that you have set your budget and figured out what you need it is time to get down to business. Read up about cars that cater to your lifestyle needs and image. Pick up car magazines, check out online automobile websites even refer to friends and family to zero in on your desired set of wheels. Thorough research about a potential car is the key to being successful in finding what you need.
You will also need to research on the different avenues from where you can buy your car. Whether you want to approach pre-owned car showrooms or car dealers who sell both new and used cars or you want to buy it directly from the owner. If you choose to buy it from the dealer then find out the authenticity of the dealer and services that they are ready to offer you. If you plan to buy it directly from an individual owner then find out why they want to sell the car, whether or not it has been in any accident and how it has been used.
However, it is always advisable to buy a car from a certified dealer rather than buying it from the owner directly since a car from the dealer will have been methodically inspected. Also unlike an individual owner a dealer will always offer you their services and maintenance warranty.
Get a Test Drive
Once you have found the car that suits your needs and fits in your budget book a test drive. Test driving is an important part of the car buying process. Sit in the car make sure you are comfortable. Make sure the engine starts smoothly and the steering wheel is not vibrating. See if the speedometer and mileage recorder are working properly. It is always advisable to take your mechanic along with you on the test drive.