When it comes to purchasing a used car, you want to be careful, as you are making a serious investment. A used car is something that you will hopefully use for many years to come. When purchasing a used car, you want to avoid making any classic buyers' mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Securing Financing
Before you start shopping for a used car, you should secure financing. You can get pre-approved for financing from a bank, credit union, or other lenders. You don't have to use this form of financing for your loan. However, getting pre-approved will provide you with more options, and let you get an idea of who much you will be approved for, what type of interest rates you quality for, and what type of down payment a lender may want you to provide.
Getting pre-approved for financing will give you a point of comparison. It will provide you with a reference, which you can use to get bettering financing from a dealership, or if you don't like the dealership financing offer, you will have another financing option to fall back on.
Mistake #2: Not Test Driving the Car
A surprising percentage of buyers never test drive a car before they purchase it. It is important that you test drive a car before you buy it, even if you looked at the car online and you like all of the features, you still need to test drive the car.
Actually, getting behind the wheel of the car is the only way to see if the vehicle runs as smoothly as they say it does. Driving the vehicle will allow you to make sure that things like the A/C, heater, and sound system work.
Finally, driving the vehicle will allow you to see if the vehicle is comfortable for you to drive. Comfort depends on your size and individual driving needs and can be hard to determine by just looking at pictures of the vehicle.
Mistake #3: Not Getting the Car Checked by a Mechanic
When you find the vehicle you want to purchase, get it checked out by a mechanic. By state law, in most states, a dealership has to allow you to get the vehicle checked out by an independent mechanic.
A used car is not going to be in perfect mechanical conditions; however, you should be fully aware of the mechanical state of the car, and its future repair needs, before you go through with the purchase.
With a mechanical inspection, you will get a report on the state of the car, and you will have a good idea of what future repairs will be required. You can also use this information to help you negotiate on the price.
When it comes to looking at used cars for sale, you need to make sure that you get approved for financing before you start shopping around; this will give you both a reference point and will provide you another financing option. Always test the car to see if it is the right fit for you, and get the car checked out by a mechanic to ensure you are fully apprised of the mechanical situation you are getting into.