Buying a Used Car? A Checklist for New Buyers

By on February 21, 2013

Due to the increased demand for used cars price on late model used cars are a bit higher than in recent years, but this just increases the importance of buying to get the best value for your money.

In 2012 a study by Cars.com stated that the average price of a used car increased by over 10% from 2010, but dealers urge that used cars still offer great value. The best value is the lessened deprecation that used cars carry. Brand new cars will lose up to 30 percent of their value in the first year. Buy a later model used car and save the depreciation.

Steps to Buying a Used Car

  • Know what you want. Research on the web and test drive at different dealers. Keep a set budget and don’t let a dealer talk you up. Establish a price range. There are private sellers who will be more flexible than a car dealership. Do read car buying guides to make sure you know the true value of a vehicle.
  • Get a range of financing options up front. If you are paying cash, however, don’t worry about this step.
  • Be prepared to haggle. Inspect every single inch of the car’s frame and interior. Leave no stone unturned. Ignore the salesman if you must.
  • Negotiate your price. You can save over 50 percent on listed cars if you know when the car came into the dealership. You should be able to knock at least 25 percent of the price at the first negotiation.
  • Look for small things that will reveal big problems. Check out the doors. If you find that a door sticks, if might mean that the car has been in an accident.
  • Before deciding on a car you need to investigate the history. Undisclosed flood damage or a rolled back odometer can give you a price savings. Use Carfax that provides reports or an indication of what has gone on with the car.

If you are in the UK, use HPI that specializes is in checking histories of used cars. HPI is crucial in providing all types of car buyers the best information on all UK registered vehicles. Do not hesitate to insist on HPI reports to determine if the vehicle you are buying has a history.

  • If you are buying a used car from a dealership, purchase an extended warranty which is a promise made by the manufacturer to fix major problems. Make sure the warranty suits your needs and matches the use of the car. Check out certified pre-owned vehicles that have been checked over by factory licensed mechanics.

Do your due diligence when purchasing a used car. Make sure you are not buying someone else’s problems. Do ask why they are selling the car and be wary of hesitant answers. There are those sellers who want a new car every year. This is the type of used car you want to find!

If you are looking to purchase a used vehicle, then the one thing you should keep firmly in your mind is this – I really need to check my car history in order to make sure everything is fine with my purchase.

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