When you are shopping for a used car, there are so many choices available that it may be difficult at first, to narrow your choices. Finding the best used car involves the consideration of all of the factors that can make it the best choice for you. What would be considered a real find for one person may not be what another is looking for in a used automobile. In order to help you find the best possible car, we’ve prepared this easy to follow guide that will help narrow your choices and make reaching your goal a little easier.
Determine what you need from the car
One of the more important things to consider is whether or not the car will meet all of your transportation needs. This will help you to figure out what type of car you should look for, the seating capacity required and if economy in fuel mileage is an issue. For example, if you are looking for a car that will simply get you to school or work and back everyday, perhaps a smaller to mid-sized model would be the best choice. If you haul and deliver firewood or other large items, you may need to consider purchasing a truck. Once you’ve figured out what type of vehicle you need to purchase, you’re ready to move on the the next phase.
Setting a budget for how much you are able or willing to spend on a used vehicle is also an important consideration. If you plan to pay cash, what would be the limit for the lump sum payment. If financing, how much can you afford to spend from your monthly budget. Some other things to think about are the type of interest rate you can expect, what the down payment will be and how much maintenance, operation and other associated fees will be. These include regular oil changes, servicing, fuel expenses and monthly auto insurance costs. Once you’ve determined this, you will have narrowed down the list of choices to those within a set price range.
Next, you should give some thought to the options that you prefer in the car. For example, the color, power or manual windows, automatic or standard transmission, bucket or bench seats, and so on. This will give you a more solid means of cutting back on the cars that you will be comparing in the next step.
Browse through a selection of cars that interest you
Now that you know the basics of what you are looking for in a used car, it’s time to start looking through those that you think would be suitable. There are a few different ways to do this. You can browse through the ads in the newspapers, look through used car lots and the used section of dealerships, and go online to get more information about the cars you are looking for.
Compare used cars and narrow the list
There are a few good online sites that will allow you to pull up information on up to 4 different automobiles at one time to conduct a side by side comparison. This is a good way for determining which ones you are most attracted to and the ones that will come closest to meeting your transportation needs. You can also determine how many average miles per gallon each is rated at for fuel consumption if this is an issue.
Comparing the prices can help you to find some of the best deals. It’s always a good idea to get online to the Kelly Blue Book site so you can get a fair and honest estimate on the value of the vehicle you are considering. The value of this option is that Kelly provides estimates that are based upon the year, make, model and condition of the vehicle, so considerations such as depreciation are factored in already. This helps you to avoid overpaying for a used vehicle.
Final considerations to be made
Once you have physically found the used car that you want to purchase, it’s time to take it for a test drive. This will help you to feel how the car handles while driving to determine if it is a good fit for you, and if there are any performance issues that are identifiable. One of the most important factors in determining which car is best for you if after settling on a mechanically sound, adequately sized car, finding one that just feels right.
Car history and mechanical soundness
Be sure to ask the seller to provide information about the car history. Car fax is a reliable system of using the vin number of the automobile to research any accidents that it may have been involved in. This record can let you know about any damages that were sustained to the vehicle and what, if any repairs were made to restore it to functionality. If the vehicle was at one time totaled in an accident, it will be recorded on the report and with additional records that classify it as a salvage vehicle.
Benefits of purchasing certified pre owned vehicles
Many dealerships offer deals on used cars that are known as certified pre owned vehicles. These cars have been thoroughly gone through and inspected for excessive wear and damages that may require repairs immediately or in the near future. Only vehicles that pass the rigors of these inspections are allowed into this classification. When you purchase a CPO car, there is a greater degree of confidence that it will last longer than those that do not have this additional benefit.
Shopping for a used vehicle is much easier when you follow a few simple recommendations. Figuring out what you want and need from the car is the first step. Knowing what you are willing to spend is the next. Making comparisons that include pricing, gas mileage, customer ratings and preferred options also help in narrowing down your choices. After the test drive and learning about the car’s history, you will have all of the information that you need to make choices for selecting the best used car for you.