Owning a car is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity and a huge investment as well. However, not all people have the financial capacity to procure brand new cars, thus a used automobile is a well known option.
- You can find used cars from superstore dealerships that specialize in used cars, car rental agencies, used auto sales shops, the internet, and print and classified ads. Nevertheless be wary of fraud, as there are plenty of scammers on the Internet and in classifieds. Manufacturers’ websites are also worth checking, even if you do not intend on buying a new car, since some also offer second hand cars and other options. Another good source, which is rather practical, is buying from people you know, if you wish to do away with a dealership.
- Determine your budget, prepare your financing or loans, and get auto insurance quotes prior to buying your car. This aspect does not only apply for buying used automotive units but applies for new car purchases as well. You can only begin your search once you are certain about your requirements and the financial capacity to procure and insure your car.
- Know the history of the car. That includes the number of previous owners, any previous mechanical problems, maintenance background of the automobile and if ever it was involved in an accident. Any used automobile can have a bad history, thus it is wise to get a vehicle history report, which you can obtain from the comfort of your home by ordering a report from Carfax.com. What you need is simply the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. It has a detailed vehicle history from a nationwide database, which you can access within seconds and find details such as accident or damage history, title problems, salvaged, junked, rebuilt or flood issues, frame damage, odometer rollback and other records that can be made available to protect you from hidden problems.
- Have an expert mechanic put the car on a lift to perform a thorough inspection and check for damage. An expert can instantly spot corrosion, fluid leaks, concealed frame damage or previous crash damage. Perform a test drive and check the performance of the car yourself.
- Negotiate the price and warranty with the automobile dealer prior to signing anything. To protect your purchase, minimize your losses and cover repairs, go for an extended warranty. Ensure that you understand your auto warranty coverage before buying your car.
- Do not sign the ‘As Is’ statement or you will be solely responsible for whatever problems the car might have once you drive it home. Read carefully before signing anything.
- Purchase your car. When everything else is properly done, verified and inspected, close the transaction. The title must be registered in your name, and you should be aware of certain laws in transferring the title to your local state. Ensure that when you drive your car home, you have all the maintenance records, sets of keys, manuals, spare parts, etc.
Should you wish to buy accessories for your used automobile, you can buy them from dealers who sell car accessories and parts online. Some dealers also offer slightly used accessories, and you can often negotiate the prices.