Buying a used car is not as risky or complicated as some people presume. A new car does come with many safeguards assured in the warranty of the manufacturer. But a new car also costs much more than a used one. Nowadays, it is very easy to verify ownership of a used car, its history and other relevant information. You will not be taking a plunge into the unknown. You can make an informed decision with this guide for buying a used car.
Decide the Criteria
You may or may not be aware of what the market has to offer but you should know what you want. Decide a budget, choose a few brands you like or know to be the best for the type of car you need, determine seating capacity and storage, make a note of a few specs and features you cannot do without, shortlist a few specific years or models and then embark on a simple quest. You can initiate an online or offline search.
Steps to Buying a Used Car
Confirming your requirements, you have 2 options, check out online listings websites like cars.com , Cargurus.com, carmax.com or alternatively you you can contact used car dealers. Dealers might try to push your budget up, hold your ground, vehicles are constantly being added both online and offline, you can have your cake and eat it too.
You must always remember that a used car will need some work after you purchase it. Even if you buy a car that is in perfect working condition, there may be some aesthetic changes you want. Since the auto parts are worn out to a varying extent depending on how many miles a used car has been driven, the components will have to be repaired or replaced sooner or later. You must understand these financial compulsions in the short to medium term after buying a used car. Don’t buy a car that doesn’t have affordable auto parts. Don’t buy a car that doesn’t have its parts readily available where you live.So buying an oder Jaguar or Audi might not be the best choice.
While you can be stringent about the budget, you have to be flexible with other aspects of your requirements. For instance, you may have to choose a model from a year earlier or later than what you might have preferred. Cars are often personalized by owners so there may be some additional features or installations. This is not always a good thing because you must understand the ownership cost and running expenditure. Study the history of ownership. Use the vehicle identification number to check the entire history. Inspect a car physically and go for a test drive. Never buy a used car till you have driven it at least once for a reasonable span of time.Negotiate and finalize the deal.
How to Inspect a Used Car?
Your entire quest can be futile if you cannot inspect and test the used car properly. Used cars do not always look worn out, weathered and exhausted. They may look just a tad aged but retaining all its splendor. Well maintained cars can look just as good as new even after tens of thousands of miles. You should not be captivated by the appearance. You should not take the claims of sellers at face value. Inspect the car and test if everything is alright as claimed or something is wrong. Have a checklist with you while inspecting and testing a used car.
Test the brakes.
If there is a grinding noise when you apply the brakes, if the car tends to pull towards a particular direction when the brakes are being applied, if the brakes are not working perfectly when you are trying to park or the brakes are not responsive enough, then these are red flags and you must have the car inspected to know the exact problem and the appropriate solution.
Test the engine
Not just with an assessment while you are driving but also through a physical inspection. Look for signs of corrosion at the battery terminals, there could be black or blue smoke being emitted by the exhaust pipes, the engine may have a strange odor, there could be leaks and worn out engines make noises. You may hear hissing, ticking or knocking when the engine is turned on and you are test driving the used car.
Inspect the Entire exterior and interior
All features and additional components or installations should be carefully assessed. Look for cracks, scratches, dents and other signs of physical damage. These may be aesthetic but they will cost you when you go for a repair. Check all mechanical functions. Open and close the doors, check all windows, operate the hood and the trunk, turn on the headlights, taillights, directional lights and bright lights, look for signs of rust at edges and hinges, work on the adjustable seats and ensure they are easily maneuverable, inspect the gauges, the warning lights should function properly, the power windows should be effortless and all installations should be efficient and responsive.
The climate control should be fine. The sound system and other installations, whether original or aftermarket, should be fully functional. The wipers and blades should be reliably operational. If there are state of the art systems such as rear view camera among other features than all of these should be completely operational. It is not always the mechanical auto parts that need to be replaced in used cars. Electrical, electronic and other technological installations also require repairs, replacements or upgrades. At times and for certain models of many brands, these expenses can be easily greater than the costs of affordable auto parts.
Many auto parts have an expected life. Transmission, motor, battery, lights, filters, mudguards, coolants, engine oils or lubricants and several other components must be repaired or replaced from time to time. You must be able to determine how much life each of these components still has before you have to spend money again. The upfront cost of buying a used car is not the entire financial commitment. There is an ownership cost too.
Those who have old and used cars or even broken vehicles can sell them to H and H Auto Parts. The company specializes in buying such vehicles outright. They offer pickup and can ensure safe recycling of the vehicle.