Owning a car is a privilege because you can get to many places without having to rely on other people or public transport. However, buying and maintaining a car has its costs. If you are considering buying a car but do not have enough budget, you may want to opt for a used car instead.
Buying a used car proves to be more overwhelming, and you have to pay more attention to detail than purchasing a new car. When shopping for a used car, you have to look at the overall package plus the time that it was used.
Here are some mistakes that you need to avoid when buying a used car:
8 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Used Car
Mistake # 1: Going over your budget
One of the reasons why you opted for a used car is because you are low on budget. Therefore, once you set a budget – stick with it. It would be best to choose a car that is about 10% to 20% less than your budget. There are still many costs on top of the purchase itself.
Mistake # 2: Not Having plenty of options
Don’t jump on that deal just because it’s the cheapest find. It could be cheap, but you end up spending more for repairs or maintenance. Scout around and list down the specifications, pros, and cons, and the price. Do not go for the cheapest car on your list. It may be the cheapest but the worst.
Mistake # 3: Contacting sellers from far away places
When shopping for used cars, keep it within your area. The benefit to this is that it’s easier to inspect the vehicle and to communicate with the seller. Usually, sellers from other states have pricier offers. Save yourself the hassle of a long trip and stay within the vicinity.
Mistake # 4: Not checking the vehicle’s history
Get the license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN) and check its history. You can look at the vehicle’s service history, accident history, and ownership. Who would want to own a car that has bad records?
Mistake # 5: Communicating with the seller “just because”
Establishing a good relationship with the seller is important. If you can’t communicate properly with the seller, you won’t be able to get valuable information about the car. Things you need to find out are how the car is being used and why it’s being sold. It would also be harder to bargain if you don’t have a good relationship with the seller.
Bargaining with the seller is also a good idea. Most sellers advertise the top price for their car but are willing to negotiate. However, don’t come off as too stingy. The car may have extras that are really worth it which may explain the selling price.
Mistake # 6: Drive away as soon as you see the car and like it
Inspect the car thoroughly, not just once but twice. Better to bring an expert the next time you inspect it. Sellers only tell you the right things about it but might omit the cons. Ask a trusted friend who is a car expert or a mechanic to go with you. Just because the exterior looks clean and shiny and the insides are newly vacuumed does not mean that the engines are also well-maintained.
Do not get blinded by the added features or extras. Some of the add-ons may not be right for you. For example, if the car is equipped with sound boosters and a full sound system and you like quiet drives, wouldn’t that be useless for you?
Mistake # 7: Choosing the wrong car
What would you normally use the car for? How often are you going to use it? How many are you in the family? These are some of the questions you need to consider. Don’t buy a sports car when you have four children. On the other hand, don’t purchase a minivan if you are a bachelor who does not travel too much. Your car should suit your needs and not just for the sake of getting a car.
Mistake # 8: Forgetting the paperwork or some of it
Documents are the most important after you have decided to purchase the used car. A transfer certificate proves that you are the new owner. Service history receipts help you determine the repairs done, and what needs to be done in case there are problems. Don’t forget the car insurance and warranty on parts, too. They save you on many costs in the event of repairs.
Want more mistakes? Check out 6 Mistakes I Made Paying Off My Mortgage
Shopping for a car, whether it is new or used, can be overwhelming. There are numerous factors to consider and many costs. I hope that with the tips above, I have helped you make your decisions and quieted your misgivings.
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Guest Author Bio: David, the founder of CarUnderstand, is a car lover. He has a personal blog where he shares a lot of fun facts about cars. Don’t hesitate to visit his blog to find out more about cars.