You have heard the saying countless times that buying a car used is much cheaper than purchasing it new. There is a myriad of benefits to getting a used car, including thousands in savings on the list price, lower registration fees, and paying less for auto insurance.
Whether you want a car from a used car dealership or a private seller, you should tread carefully when making a big purchase like a vehicle. Here are some used car shopping mistakes to steer clear of when shopping for cars online and in person.
1. Miscalculating Monthly Cost
When you get a car loan, you may not realize that there are other fees and payments associated with owning a vehicle besides monthly car payments.
Make sure that you know roughly how much you will spend on gas, as well as other costs such as car insurance. Leave a cushion just in case so you can always make your payment.
2. Not Researching the Vehicle
You may have an idea of the type of car you want, but you should always research to see if it’s the best fit. Make sure that it has features you are comfortable with and can benefit from.
For example, if you commute an hour each way to work every day, then it may not be in your best interest to get a vehicle that has low gas mileage.
3. Looking at a Car Alone
You should never go to meet with a stranger alone, especially if you have thousands that you want to spend on a used car. Even if you go to a used car dealership, bring a friend or family member you can trust.
You can have a third party there to verify any deals made. It is also a good idea to get a second opinion on any car you have an interest in.
4. Spending More Than Your Budget
You do not want to see a car that you fall in love with, only to find out that it is out of your price range. Although it may seem fun to broaden your perspective, try to stick to vehicles that fit into your auto loan budget.
There are great tools online for comparing car prices, so you can narrow down what you can afford.
5. Skipping an Inspection
When you buy a used car, it is imperative to get an inspection before you sign any paperwork. Ideally, you should do this after you decide that you want the car.
Take it to a mechanic you trust and see if you can get a diagnostic report done. If there are any issues, bring them up with the owner or used car dealership.
Don’t Make These Used Car Shopping Mistakes
When you buy a used car, no doubt you will feel elated at the prospect of changing up your ride. However, avoid these common used car shopping mistakes so you get your money’s worth and feel confident in your new vehicle.
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