how to buy used cars

Steps to take when buying used car

Used cars are the best value you will get in the automotive market, it is mainly true for models which are 2-3 years old. Not only is the price of used cars lower but also the continuing ownership prices such as insurance and taxes are lower and the car has already taken its biggest depreciation hit. When you buy a used car, you will get a better car than you would have afforded if you had bought a new one.

Unfortunately, buying a used car can be quite complicated, there are certain important things that you should remember and steps that you should take to help make the experience easier and prevent you from getting ripped off. The following guide outlines the steps you should take when buying a used car.

· Set your budget

Begin by figuring out how much you can afford to spend including the cost of insurance, registration, running cost and other regular maintenance cost. If you are considering getting a loan ensure that you shop around for the best rates.


· Do your research

Before buying a used car, you should do a detailed research on what is available out there. Get the current market price of the model you intend to buy, spend time going through the car sale ads online or in the local newspaper and ensure that you compare the prices as well as features to avoid paying more.

You should more cautious with used whose prices are much lower than the market price. Before buying such a car, have it thoroughly checked. If the deals seems too good to be true, there is probably something fishy.

· Find the right car

Browse the prices, make and body type to find out which model and make will suit you. Go window shopping and check all kind of helpful details including age, model and make. Also ensure that you confirm if there is an upcoming model that will significantly reduce the price of the model you are about to purchase.

· Contact the seller

When you contact the seller, ask as many questions about the car;

· How old is the car?

· Why is are you selling it

· Is it damaged?

· What is its condition?

· Does it have any habits that I should know of?

· What is the car’s history?

Have a look at the car

Go to the home address if you are dealing with a private seller or the dealer’s location rather than arranging to meet up somewhere. Check to confirm that the home address is similar to that on the registration certification and also heck other details like if the odometer number is accurate.

· Check the car’s history

No matter how genuine the seller looks, you need to check the history of the car to ensure that it is not stolen, written off or encumbered by an outstanding loan.

At a small fee, use the VIN number to check against the state’s databases. This will ultimately save you lots of problems and money in the future.

· Have the car checked by a mechanic

Besides checking the above details, you should have the car properly checked by an independent mechanic for any problem or previous damage.

· Test drive the car

Begin by turning the steering wheel from one lock to another to ensure there is no knocking, banging or screeching.

Test the handbrake by pulling it on then trying to drive slowly. It should hold the car from moving.

Listen to any strange noise from the engine.

Drive the car on different roads

Check if the clutch pedal bites between the middle and top of the pedal’s travel.

· Negotiate the price

There is always room for price adjustment. In case you find any minor faults in the car that were not listed on the advertisement, calculate the correction cost and use it to negotiate the price.

· Payment and paperwork

Ensure that all the paper work are in order and that you get all the original copies including the logbook, service history and registration papers. Also ensure you get a receipt for all the payments you make.

Never at any one time send money to the seller before receiving all the necessary paperwork even if there is a promise of sending the papers to you.