Many different factors go into buying a car – first off is your budget, and you also have to think about the car’s make and model and whether it’s the right fit for your actual requirements. But what else should you consider if you have your eye on buying a car, especially if it’s used? There are some great deals available today, even with the pandemic that has affected the car industry. You’re actually better off buying used nowadays because they are not just cheaper than new cars, but they will be readily available. But you’d still want to make a great purchase, and this is where an essential guide to buying the best-used car for your needs comes in. So what do you need to know, then? Let’s find out.
Determine your budget: how much can you realistically afford?
The first and most obvious step is to determine your budget. How much can you pay for on your income, lifestyle, and other expenditures? If you are planning to apply for a loan, the payments for your loan should not be over 10 percent of your monthly income. Keep in mind that a used vehicle may also need some attention once in a while, so factor this into your budget as well.
Establish your preferred list
There are some cars that are more popular than most, and there are some used models that are excellent buys. If you want to make the most of your money, however, try considering more than just a single brand. You can, for instance, list down three vehicles you have in mind, as long as they are within your set budget.
Check the pricing
Did you know that where you shop can also dictate the price of your preferred models? You could find used cars in dealerships, retailers, and independent lots, and you can also browse websites where private car owners sell their vehicles. But it’s good sense to look for cars that are already available within your area. For example, if you’re in Utah, it’s good protocol to look for used car Utah dealerships that allow you to search via categories such as price, features, the odometer, and so on. The fact that the dealer is near you is already an advantage, so start from there.
Review the history report
Once you have made your shortlist and are seriously looking at a car, don’t forget to review the vehicle history report. This way, you can find out about the car’s history and know more about its overall condition – and if it’s worth buying in the first place! You can check the history via Carfax and AutoCheck. Be mindful of details such as whether a car comes with a salvage title (this means that the insurance company has already deemed it a total loss). To get the report, you need the VIN or vehicle identification number or the license plate number.
Take it for a test-drive
When you’ve seen the report, and it checks out, it’s time to take it for a test drive. This gives you the chance to assess its condition and whether or not it’s really right for you. When doing this, assess the space inside the vehicle, the driving position, the seats, the visibility, and, of course, the brakes, steering, the engine, and all the other features within and without.