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10 Steps to Make Buying a Used Car a Positive Experience

3:46 AM
03/28/2017
Many people purchase used cars every year. It is estimated that tens of millions of used vehicles are purchased from a dealership as well as private parties. With so many vehicles available, it may be a challenge to discover the one that fits your individual driving needs. There are at least ten steps to consider when looking to purchase a used car.

1. Budget



It's important a person know how much they can put toward their used car purchase before they start looking. Car finance experts recommend that a person's car payment should not be over 20 percent of their take-home pay. Should a person's finances be tight, they may want to consider a lower percentage.

2. Research



Once a person has determined the amount they can comfortably spend on a vehicle, they need to research what vehicles are within their price range. People with children will want larger cars and environmentally conscious single people with no children may want a hybrid. The good news is there are thousands of used vehicles available. There is a good chance a customer will find one to fit their individual situation.

3. Vehicle History Report



It's possible to buy a vehicle from a family member or close friend who is honest about its history. In most cases, it's recommended to get a vehicle history report. This is an important part of buying a used vehicle. Should you be interested in a vehicle that has a bad history, it's better to know as soon as possible.

4. Contact Seller



Once you see a car that gets your interest, it is important to contact the seller. The next step is to verify all of the information you've obtained about the car. This is a time to learn about any recent mechanical problems and more. This is also a good way to determine if the vehicle is still available to be purchased.

5. Vehicle Inspection



Should the vehicle be purchased through a private party, it is very important to have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. This can also be a good idea with certain types of vendors. If the seller isn't willing to permit such an inspection, it may be time to avoid the potential problems and move to another vehicle. Refusing an inspection makes the seller appear to be hiding something important about the car.

6. Test Drive



Test driving a used car is the most effective way to know if it is the car that will work for you. This is the time to personally assess a car's condition. Walk around the outside and see its exterior. Notice if it's easy to get in and out of the car. See how easy is is to make the seat, steering wheel, and other adjustments. Pay close attention to how the car handles when driving it.

7. Negotiate A Good Deal



Many people don't like talking numbers with a seller. This can be a good experience when a person has a plan. Be aware of anything that is wrong with the vehicle. Before the negotiations start, it's important to know how much to spend, and start with a very low offer. Try to meet a price in the middle between what price you offer and the seller initially offers.

8. Financing



Should a person be buying a car with financing, it's important they think about refusing a variety of extras that will be offered. Things such as rustproofing and etching need to be carefully considered. Warranties and insurance can be purchased from places other than a dealership and might be a much better price.

9. Don't Buy Today



It is important to resist any pressure from the seller for a quick sale. This pressure decreases significantly when a customer walks away. In many cases, a customer will get a better deal because the seller doesn't want them to possibly get a good deal with the competition. Demand that any offers be put in writing.

10. Paperwork



If buying from a dealership, a sales contract and financing paperwork may be involved. Insurance will have to be arranged. There will be fees for registrations, warranties as well as tax and more.

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