While public transportation and other means of commuting are getting better, having a car is still the simplest and best way to get around. There are nearly 300 million registered vehicles in the USA alone. As a result, it should come as no surprise that over 75% of people drive to work every day. Of course, in order to drive to work, you need a car.
Unfortunately, buying and owning a car is not cheap. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars and cars often need to be replaced every few years with heavy usage. Not only that, but the other costs of owning a car can add up to thousands of dollars every year. It’s not always easy to afford all of these costs, so many people look for any and every way to save money when buying and owning a car.
One of the best ways to save money when buying a car is to buy used. Buying a used car can save you thousands of dollars, while still getting you a good and reliable vehicle. However, when buying a used car, it is important to do it carefully. There are some amazing and affordable used cars out there, but also some lemons that aren’t worth the hassle. Seeing which is which isn’t always easy, but don’t worry, we’re here to help.
This article is going to take a look at a few different things that you need to know before purchasing a used car.
Do Your Research
The first thing to know about buying a used car is that there will be a lot of research involved. First and foremost, you need to evaluate which type of car you want to get. Some individuals and lifestyles need a small, fuel-efficient car, while others need one that is large and powerful, with the ability to add accessories such as these. The quicker you find out what you need out of a car, the quicker you can get one.
Once you know what you want and need out of a car, it’s time to dive into the research. You need to look at different makes, models, versions, and options to see which vehicle meets your needs the best. It may be difficult to find a car that matches your needs exactly, so have some wiggle room in some “wants” in order to get a car that meets all your “needs”.
In addition to researching the car you want to get, you also need to put time into how much you can spend. You should check out your budget, as well as see what size of an auto loan you will be able to secure. Also, there are many services online that can help you see the fair value for all different types of cars. These will help ensure you get a good deal, and aren’t stuck paying a bloated car payment for the better part of a decade.
Check the VIN
Once you have done your research and figured out the car you want to get, you need to check the VIN. The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique code given to every vehicle in the USA. It is how one identical-looking vehicle can be distinguished from another. But in addition to telling them apart, a VIN can tell you a bit about the history of the car.
There are sites like vehiclereport.me that can let you check a VIN to learn about the car before you buy it. Performing a VIN check will allow you to view historical records, sales history, theft history, specs and more. This will help you determine if the car is worth purchasing, or if it is hiding some secrets.
Always Test Drive and Inspect
Once you feel you have the right make, model, and price, you still aren’t ready to make a purchase. Before you sign anything or make any exchange of funds, you need to test drive the vehicle. This will ensure it drives well, and you enjoy the “feel” of the vehicle. During the drive, be sure to test and try every knob, button, and switch that you can.
You want to make sure everything is working, and if not, you should get a lower price. In addition to test driving the car, you should organize for an inspection. While you can check the interior and exterior for scratches or dents, you’ll need someone to check under the hood. Find a trusted mechanic in your area, as most of them can give the vehicle a checkup to ensure it is sound before you make the purchase.
In conclusion, hopefully, this blog post has been able to help you learn what you need to know before buying a used car.