Buying a used car – What you need to know

Check out the tips below.  Buying a used car can be a tricky thing – there are a lot of sharks out there.

Tip 1
If buying from a private owner, check them out.   Don’t be a stalker, but make sure they are on the up and up.  Did they actually do all of the maintenance recommended?  Ask to see the maintenance receipts.  Do they really want to sell? Do they know the value of their car?

Tip 2
My dealership is giving me a great trade in – so I’ll trade in and get the used car from the dealer.  The problem is you may get a great trade-in price, but the dealership will not give you a good deal on the new car.  Make sure you consider all costs before buying from a dealership.

If you do purchase your car from the dealership – do not finance through them. Banks and credit unions have better options than dealerships.

Tip 3
“Certified Pre-Owned” doesn’t  mean much unless you are looking at Honda, Toyota, etc.  Make sure understand the certification process before you fall for the old “certified” scam.

Tip 4
Make sure you research the reliability of the cars that you are considering buying. This is more important when buying a used car than a new one. For example, a Honda or Lexus is more reliable than a Land Rover.

Tip 5
Don’t get emotionally attached.  You have to be willing to walk away if you can’t get exactly what you want: make/model, price, color, options.

Tip 6
Know what you can afford or what you are willing to spend.  Figure out what your maximum monthly payment is going to be and then stick with it.  You will want to be sure that you include tax, title, registration and insurance for your new car.  Your fees are typically going to be around 10% on top of the purchase price. That would make the price of a $50,000 car about $55,000. Go back to Tip 5. Do not get emotionally attached.

Try to get pre-qualified before you go into the dealership so you know the interest rates.  If you have an account and you have direct deposit or if you are going to be taking out the car payment electronically out of your account, you may be able to get a better interest rate.

Insurance is another consideration when it comes to being able to afford your car.  Sports and high performance cars typically have higher insurance rates.  Also, four-wheel dirve car are typically more. You can go online to find out what cars are being stolen.  They will has have higher premiums. Get a few quotes from your current insurance company and companies like AAA, Farmers, Progressive, etc before you decide on the car of your dreams.

Other things you might want to consider are how much is maintenance and repairs. Find out what the warranty is and what options are for extended warranties.

Hope this helps!  The last thing you want to do is find the car that you have always wanted and then not be able to enjoy life because every spare penny you have is going to your car.