Buying a used car is far trickier than choosing a new one. Top reasons why people prefer used cars are they cost less than the new ones, save your money on car insurance, registration and, lower taxes and depreciation rate. Plus, there are many options nowadays, even if you take a loan to finance the car, you will owe less than the new car. However, owning one can be a very fulfilling ride, especially if you can negotiate a good deal. Follow our tips:
Set your budget
The first step in buying a used car to set a budget. Once you have decided on a budget, you can now plan how you will raise the funds to finance the car. After the budget, study the various car models, technical specifications, and their price. It will help to reduce your choices.
Choose the right car
One of the best money-saving tips is to go for cars that are at least a few years old. A model that is discontinued might be a good bet too, as long as it serves your purpose. They might not have cool features such as Bluetooth, navigational aid, or might not come in the latest design or color. But, you will save a lot of money and you can always add special features later on.
Inspect the car
Account for the costs related to fuel, dents, damage, rust, and tyre condition, since you may need to bear the cost of fixing or replacing them later. Especially check if you can find any new paint or touch-up activity. Also, watch out for possible leaks. Under the hood, check that the car still has the real engine. Take along a trusted mechanic or car expert who'll provide you insights into the vehicle.
Take the car for a drive
This is the most important stage of buying a used car. Insist on taking the car for 4-5 km of test derive. Unless you are a car expert, you can't be expected to inspect a car thoroughly. But, you'll be able to give the car a fair initial inspection. Check the car's headlights, steering wheel, gears, and brakes are working properly.
Check the vehicle history report
You need to be aware of other factors that contribute to the car’s condition. It's not just the numbers on the car’s odometer that show its history. By using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) you can get a detailed report of the car's history. Ask for maintenance records or service of the car. Do some research particularly on any recurring problems reported by car owners and the model and year of manufacture. Consider the automaker’s reputation while you evaluate the car.
Check the documents
After you have done all your research, it's time to check the documents. Ask for the car’s original registration papers (RC book), valid pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, tax tokens, and insurance papers. Also, check the existing insurance policy and check the no claim bonus.
Negotiate your deal
Once you have established that everything is to your satisfaction, negotiate a deal. Be confident about the price of the car while bargaining. Whether you are buying your car from a dealer or an owner, there’s always a scope for negotiation. However, one of the creative ways to save money is to purchase from a private seller (especially someone you trust). Dealers often mark up the price to include the quality guarantee they offer.
On the other side, if the dealer offers a discount that is too good to be true, then double-check the car and its documents. If you suspect that something is wrong, then don't hesitate to withdraw from the deal. It's a long-term commitment, so buy carefully.