Around three out of every four automobile sales in the United States involve a used vehicle, with as many as 41,000,000 used cars being sold in 2013 alone. With these statistics, many people are eager to take advantage of the benefits of buying used cars, from lower prices to a wider selection of vehicles. But before you start searching for good used cars in your area, there are a number of factors every potential customer should consider before committing to a purchase. Read on to learn how to find the best used cars for you.
Know Your Budget
Cost is one of the major reasons people choose to buy used cars for sale. But even if the vehicle you choose is thousands of dollars less than a new vehicle, as is fairly common, it is still possible to step outside a price range you can afford. To avoid this, think about your budget before you even starting looking at the different vehicles available. How much can you afford to pay for the car? How much can you afford in monthly car insurance payments, gas and more? By having your financial parameters mapped out, you’ll be able to find used cars that will work for you and your budget out of a lot full of supposedly affordable used cars.
Have an Idea of What You’re Looking For
Due to the famously wide selection of used vehicles available, buying used cars is often easier if you have some potential models in mind. Before you head to your local dealership, do some research and build a list of potential brands and more that fit what you’re looking for. However, don’t be afraid to deviate from this list if you find a vehicle that meets your needs and matches your budget.
Check the Vehicle History Report
Once you have found some possible vehicles, or even one you are certain you want to buy, check the vehicle history report. These reports, which are sold through several different companies, contain valuable information about the car’s past damage and history, from past accidents to odometer readings. To obtain this information, you will need the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) or license plate number.
Go for a Test Drive
Before buying used cars, you need to see how they feel on the road. Put the vehicle through a quick run-through of your normal driving habits; for example, if you spend a lot of time on the highway, make sure to see how the car does when its driving at 65 mph. If you don’t feel reasonably comfortable during the test drive, the car is not the one for you.
Have the Car Inspected
Even if the vehicle history report revealed no significant past problems, a pre-purchase investigation can potentially save you thousands of dollars that you might have otherwise spent on serious repairs. An inspection can be performed by a trusted mechanic at their work location, or you can request a mobile inspection. If the vehicle is a certified pre-owned vehicle, however, you can forego the inspection due to the standards this type of car must adhere to.
With an average of 3.3 million used vehicles for sale in the U.S. at any given point, it is almost certain that there is a used car out there that is right for you. By following the five steps listed above, you can find a car that fits your budget, meets your needs, and, most importantly, is safe to drive. Take these tips to your local dealership to see your options! For more information see this.