The used car business can be a bit of an unknown entity for a lot of buyers out there. To ensure that you end up with a reliable car and that you have a good experience overall, there are a few things that you should do.
Figure Out Financing Beforehand
When you buy a used car from a private seller, you will have to come up with your own financing option. If you buy a used car from a used car dealership, they may or may not have financing. Before you go into the car dealership, work with a credit union or your personal bank to figure out loan options. If you can get pre-approved for a loan of a certain amount, then you will know exactly how much financial freedom you have to work with.
Look at Reviews of the Same Year and Model of Car
When you are buying a brand new car, you can almost count on it not breaking down anytime soon, and if it does then it's usually under some sort of warranty. When you buy a used car, it probably won't be under warranty, and it may break down if it was a bad year. Look at online reviews and consumer reports of the exact year and model of car that you are buying. What do reviews say? Are there certain things that tend to go wrong with it? If so, then you can have a mechanic look at that portion of the car before you buy it.
Try to Negotiate on the Price
When you go to buy a car for sale, you always have negotiating room, even if it's used, which means that you should never have to pay full price for any sort of vehicle. Whether you are working with a private seller or a dealership, try to negotiate a bit on the price with them. Even if they can only take a few hundred dollars off the sale price or they can only throw in a set of tires, you will better off than you would have been without negotiating.
Take It to Your Own Mechanic
Taking a car you're interested in buying to your trusted mechanic is a great thing to do before you throw money down on it. Your mechanic can do a quick run-through of everything, or they can take a more extensive look at what you may be buying. If they notice any problems upfront, you can always negotiate that into the price with the seller, or you may just want to look for a new car.
To learn more about buying a used car, contact a dealership that has used cars for sale in your area.