Purchasing a used vehicle is a great way to buy a car at a reduced price, but buyer beware. Purchasing vehicles that are used mean that they may have problems that the dealership or the person you’re purchasing the car from may try to hide. Make sure that you do your homework and check out the entirety of the vehicle before purchasing. Avoid these 8 mistakes so that you purchase the best possible vehicle for your needs.
- Not being realistic about what you can afford
When you go to a dealership or have a meeting with a private seller, have a very clear price range. Most of the time, you’ll be able to negotiate with the dealership or private seller, but you’ll still want to have a clear picture of what you’d be willing to spend based on how the vehicle is in person, and don’t forget taxes!
- Not having a clear idea of what you want
Don’t go into a dealership without a clear idea of the kind of car that will fit your needs. It’s okay not to know exactly what make and model, but things like size, gas mileage, and price range should be something you decide on beforehand. Make sure that you take a look at the insurance rates so that you know how much your car insurance will cost you before you buy.
- Blindly trusting the dealer
Just because a vehicle looks good on the outside, doesn’t mean that it drives well or works the way the dealership advertised. Check the reputation of dealers in your area and choose one that has positive reviews.
- Buying without an inspection
If the dealership or private seller refuses to let you have the vehicle inspected, there’s probably something wrong with the car. Any reputable dealership will allow you to check the car from head to toe, and a private seller should be able to provide details on the vehicle and the most recent inspection.
- Not test driving the car
It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of a new car, and used car dealerships may not offer a test drive. Test drives are standard practice, so make sure to ask to take the vehicle for a drive before purchasing.
- Not asking for a vehicle report
Vehicle reports are an important part of the used car shopping process. They have valuable information such as whether or not it has been in major accidents, had flood damage, or carries a salvage title.
- Shopping at just one dealership
Shopping at multiple dealerships gives you a great frame of reference for the going price of a vehicle you’re looking to purchase, and it also gives you an idea of how much to negotiate when you’re ready to buy.
To save extra money when purchasing your used vehicle, check with your automobile insurance and find out which models will save you money on your premiums. If you’re not satisfied with your current policy, compare your policy with other insurance companies to ensure you receive the best rate possible.