With budgets tight, many Americans are choosing to buy used vehicles instead of new ones, and approximately 3.3 used cars are sold for every one new car sold. This makes understanding the buying process an important skill.
Below are a few tips from AutoTrader.com and OnStar about what to know and do when shopping for a used car:
Consider purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle: Certified pre-owned vehicles usually come with extended warranties and have been thoroughly inspected before being sold.
Make sure the potential vehicle is functional for everyone who will be traveling in it: If searching for a used family vehicle, bring the whole family on an extended test drive to make sure everyone is comfortable with the vehicle. If you have small children, use this time to make sure child safety seats fit and can easily be installed in the vehicle.
Purchase a vehicle history report and have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic: Taking both of these actions can reduce the chance of unexpected issues later.
Ask about promotional programs: Many manufactures offer incentives to purchase their used vehicles.
Secure your financing in advance: Because used vehicle loans can vary when it comes to interest rates, visit your local bank or credit union before making a final decision so you can be sure you’re receiving the best interest rate.
Don’t negotiate price based on what you want your monthly payment to be: Monthly payments can always be lowered to fit your budget by extending the length of the loan. But extending the length of the loan makes the car more expensive. Negotiations should be made based on the price of the car, rather that the monthly payment.
Remember the sale process continues past the acceptance of an offer: After both parties agree upon an appropriate price, dealers usually will offer extra accessories and services you might not be interested in. Be sure to stand firm and make it clear that you are not interested in paying more than the previously agreed upon price.
Source: www.OnStar.com, www.AutoTrader.com