The decision to purchase a vehicle is a big one, especially if you are purchasing your first car. But whether you're getting your first set of wheels or your fifth, from the dealership to obtaining car finance there are some things that need to be considered before making this major purchase. Here are 4 important things to consider when shopping for a used car:
The first step to take before even hitting the car lots is to set a budget for yourself. Having a budget in mind means that you will be more flexible during negotiations or when it comes time to sit down and discuss financing with your dealer. You also know what you'll have to spend on monthly payments, which helps narrow down the search.
Investigate Your Car Dealer
This one is important. While some consumers may not take this as seriously as they should, it's very vital to do your research on the car dealer you intend to do business with. Just because a dealership has been in business for years doesn't mean they are still reputable. The internet is full of information that can help you decide if a dealership's reputation is upstanding and trustworthy.
Be sure to get a history report or Equifax on the vehicle you are interested in so that you know of any accidents, vehicles with title problems, or prior usage for your car. A dealer should offer to put you in contact with someone who can do this, and if they don't, it may be a red flag.
A car inspection is also very important when you are deciding on a used car. If after your history report comes back clean, the next step is having the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. Inspections can range from $100-$300 depending on where you live, but it is very important to get your car checked out by a professional because anything could be wrong with the vehicle that you won't see until it's too late.
This is only a brief outline of what to do when shopping for a used car, but following these tips will help you ensure that your decision to purchase a used car is the best one.