Purchasing a used car is different from buying a new one. The research process is the biggest difference because you have to do a lot more, but with the right steps it will be as successful. A used car has history and each one is in a different condition. You can never judge the condition of the used car by outside appearances, so these are some tips to help you while buying a used car.
Check the Mileage
Always look at the number of miles on the car because it informs you on the condition the vehicle is in. The average number of miles per year is 15,000 miles, anything higher than that is considered “high mileage”. However, if the used car has low mileage, it does not guarantee that it is in good condition.
You must examine how and where the used car was maintained while in possession of the current owner. Did they have their maintenance done at the dealership, at an independent mechanic, or at a “shade tree” mechanic? A “shade tree” mechanic is not affiliated with a garage and should be avoided. Cars maintained at a dealership or independent mechanic should be fine. You must also check if the maintenance of the used car is up to date.
Do research on the used car, the vehicle history reports are not always dependable. Ask the current owner for the history and if any incident has occurred, have they made the necessary repairs to the vehicle. The owner’s word cannot always be trusted, so it is advised that you have the car inspected by licenced personnel to make sure that the car is in top condition.
Ask the owner if the warranty is still available. If it is an older model, it is most likely past the warranty period. If the car is 1 to 5 years it is most likely still in the warranty period. Car warranties are in effect for at least three years or 36,000 miles. There also might be an extended warranty for another 1 to 2 years. You should receive the warranty papers along with the ownership titles and other important documents.
A lot goes into securing financing and assessing the condition. Ask the owner how they decided the price for the used car and if the price is negotiable. It is important you do not overpay for the used car. You should research a fair price for the car you want to purchase beforehand so you have an idea of how it should be priced. If the price is negotiable, then you can mention the fair price you researched as an alternative price.
Dealer options/ Dealer Fees
You are entitled to knowing what dealer-installed options and accessories are available in the car you are buying. Ask the owner so you are informed about what you want to purchase. You also have a right to know what you are paying and for what features. Make sure to ask about any dealer fees on the car. Before purchasing the car, ask if you have to pay any dealer fees or any other hidden costs or fees. This will guarantee you will not pay more than your budget.
Purchasing a used car doesn't have to be hard if you just follow these easy steps! It might take some work and research, but it’s worth it if you are looking for a vehicle worth your money. Now go forth and good luck on your purchases! If you want a head start, just click on our inventory tab at Keller Motors and check out our amazing used cars.