Five Tips to Use When Buying Used Cars

download (61)Most know the basics when it comes to getting used cars, but it can be tricky first timers and buyers who aren’t familiar with the process. Following these tips can make the buying process a little less painful so that the focus can be on acquiring a new (old) ride.

1. Find a Reputable Dealership

The best way to make sure used car purchases are legitimate (and that the automobiles are in the condition advertised) is to buy from a reputable place. Car dealerships always have a pre-owned lot, and most all carry a wide variety of models and makes. Buying from individual owners can sometimes work out, but that also makes it easier for the seller to misrepresent or change the wreck or condition history. Dealerships, however, are typically held to higher standards and cannot get away with false representation.

2. Look into Certified Pre-owned

One option some people may overlook when it comes to getting another automobile is buying certified pre-owned. Warranties are hard to come by on most used cars, especially if bought from an individual owner. Extended warranties can sometimes be bought, but this can be pricey. Buying what is known as a “certified” pre-owned automobile provides a shorter and more limited version of a factory warranty, which can prove to be extremely convenient and helpful later if any problems arise.

3. Get a Mechanic’s Opinion

One can make sure the mileage and appearance looks good, but a pre-owned car can come with a lot of issues under the hood. Look into recommendations for mechanics and technicians who can be trusted to give the vehicle a proper inspection. They can check things from tires to fluids, but a mechanic inspection can also make sure that the main systems, such as air conditioning and the engine, are running correctly.

4. Have a Backup in Mind

It’s easy to have one’s mind set on buying a specific dream car, but doing research on similar automobiles can prove helpful. There is always a chance that the desired make and model will not be available, or it will be very difficult to find. It’s also possible to search out of state or enlist a dealer’s help on looking out of state. However, it ends up being more cost effective to look at similar cars in the same group (SUV, small sports coupes, etc.) just in case the dream isn’t available. It may be that the second pick ends up being better than the original!

5. Check the Paperwork

If the deal sounds too good to be true, it may be. This may seem like common knowledge, but many people get so swept up in “finding a deal” that they allow themselves to become taken advantage of in a buyer’s market. For example, some automobiles may have hidden flood damage, but the title and paperwork has been illegally changed to hide its past. If any questions or concerns come up, it is best to have an attorney or a licensed dealer look through the paperwork and insurance history to be safe.

Buying a new mode of transportation can be challenging, but knowing what to look out for and being sure the dealer can be trusted are the best ways to ensuring the ideal purchase goes smoothly.