Spotting a great deal on a used car can be exciting, especially given how much pricier the used car market has become. The problem? Too many people will jump at the first lowest price they can find without doing the proper research. Do you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal while protecting yourself in the process? If so, here are six mistakes to avoid making when purchasing a used car.
1. Skipping Out on the Test Drive
A used car can look great and feel great but run poorly. Taking a used car for a test drive will allow you to catch any potential problems so that you can start looking for other cars in your area or prepare to negotiate with the seller. Even if a seller guarantees that a car runs smoothly, this is something you should always test for yourself.
2. Failing to Get an Inspection
Getting a second opinion can mean the difference between buying a lemon and getting a reliable car that will support you for years to come. Make sure to have a mechanic inspect your car so you can either further negotiate or walk away and find a better vehicle.
3. Not Considering All of Your Options
Shopping for a used car comes with a great deal of freedom. Taking the time to consider how you want to go about buying a used car is one of the first steps you should take. Are you knowledgeable and savvy enough to purchase a used car with a seller? Not everyone is, which is why some may choose to shop for a used car at a used car dealership instead. Weigh the pros and cons of each option to figure out what works best for you.
4. Not Securing a Vehicle History Report
A vehicle is a major investment, regardless of whether it’s used or new. Learning everything you can about the car allows you to better understand how long you’re going to be able to rely on it to get you around. Make sure to ask for a vehicle history report or use a third-party service to learn more about previous maintenance, any crashes the vehicle was involved in, and more.
5. Waiting Until Later to Think About Financing
Some people have the money to buy a used car outright. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. If you don’t have enough cash to spend thousands on your car and own it immediately, you need to think about financing early on. Getting pre-approved for an auto loan before you start shopping around will help you better understand how much car you can afford. If you wait until after you’ve found the vehicles you want, you can end up wasting time looking at cars that are way out of your budget.
6. Only Considering Looks When Shopping
Everyone has a dream car that they can see themselves in. If you happen to run into that car while you’re shopping, it’s hard to think about anything else besides buying it. However, only focusing on looks and failing to do your due diligence can come back to bite you later. Make sure you’re not blinded by looks. Check every box before you buy.
Shopping for a used car comes with its fair share of risks. Knowing what to do ahead of time can make the shopping experience seamless. If you’re searching for a used car, use the tips above to avoid some of the common mistakes that other buyers have made and get a great deal on a car in good condition.