Are you wondering what to look for when buying a used car? Finding the right vehicle can be a tricky business. You don’t want to land a “lemon” car that looks great but runs terribly within a few weeks. But you also don’t want to pay the full price that comes with a new car — especially when some of the value is lost as soon as you roll it off the lot.
Many people lack experience with car buying, whether it’s their very first car, the first car they’ve had to buy without the help of a parent, or simply because they dislike the act of car buying to begin with. Although used car shopping can seem like a headache, there are actually a few simple things people can keep in mind as they look for their next car. Here are our top three tips based on the latest industry advice.
1. Always Get a Vehicle History Report
After seeing so many commercials about this, it might seem like an obvious step. However, many people see it as a minor expense they can skip so long as the dealer seems honest. Even the best used car dealers, though, don’t always know a car’s full history. About 16% of used cars on the market have been in an accident, according to Forbes, and you’re going to want to know about it if that’s the case.
2. Research Cars Trade in Value
Getting a reduced price on your current vehicle can be a plus when you trade in your old one. However, you should know how much your old car is worth so that you don’t under-negotiate its selling price while used car shopping. It’s easy to lose sight of your old car’s value when you badly want to get into a newer model. In some cases, if you can wait, it’s better to save that and conduct it as a separate transaction entirely.
3. Don’t Forget the Importance of Safety Features
Money isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to getting a used vehicle. What you should keep in mind about older cars is that they don’t always come with safety features that are now industry standards, including antilock brake systems (ABS), side air bags, and electronic stability control. The benefits of these safety add-ons in a crash might counteract the savings you get by selecting an older model. Servicing your car on a consistent basis will also help keep it safer in the long run.
Do you have tips for used car shopping? Let us know in the comments.
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