Although you would be saving at least half the original price of a pre-owned car, it is still a financially risky option to procure one because you do not have the warranty coverage that a new vehicle would usually offer you. There is an almost invisible line between saving and making a financially devastating choice. This makes procuring a used car a rather herculean task.
Nonetheless, it is not impossible to purchase a pre-owned vehicle in perfect condition. Keep in mind that buying a used car does not necessarily mean driving a rickety chum-bucket all over town. There are millions of cars in perfect condition that change ownership all year long, and below are steps that you should follow when procuring one.
Set a Budget that Fits Your Pocket
A good question is “how much can I afford to spend?”. As soon as you answer this question, you must also ensure that there is a certain amount set aside for the maintenance of the car (because you have no warranty coverage), fuel, insurance, and other contingencies that you might have missed. It would be unwise to spend all your savings solely on the purchase as used cars require a little extra attention and there would be a need for spare cash when those needs come calling.
Filter Prices and Make a List
It is not unlikely that you have heard rumors about specific car brands that are durable or that have performed better as used cars when compared with others. Even though these cars truly meet up with consumers’ speculations, you have to consider more than one brand if you are hoping to save costs. Do not stop at these rumors, make further market research and narrow your choices to at least three brands. Of course, your choices must fall within the range of your budget.
It doesn’t end there; prices are most likely influenced by location. With this information at heart, you should compare the prices of the models that you have picked out with those of the same models from a good number of other retail outlets to see what other people are paying.
Make Your Choice and Check its History
At this point, you are one step closer to procuring your car. A pre-owned car’s vehicle history is so important that it would determine if you are to buy that particular or continue your search. Even if you are buying the vehicle from a close friend or a relative, you can only be sure about the car when you know its history.
I don’t expect every car dealer to sit every aspiring used car owner down and give a detailed lecture on the history of the cars for sale. There is an easier way to be sure. Every car has a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that is unique to them. You can relate a VIN to DNA fingerprints in humans. The primary purpose of a VIN is to identify that very vehicle although it is useful for obtaining a lot of other information. The Vehicle Identification Number is a series of alphanumeric characters that can be looked up on sites that offer free service to VIN check.
Apart from the vehicle name, model, country of make, engine type, and other basic data that you obtain when you check the VIN for free, it is necessary to know the accurate odometer reading of the car. There isn’t a certified answer to tell if a high mileage is better than a low mileage on a used car. However, a car with high mileage should be paid more attention to because there is a chance certain parts are worn out.
In addition, EpicVIN provides a basic free VIN check that includes; a theft vehicle check, hidden damages check, photos of previous sale(s), and data on how the car was previously used.
Test Drive, Professional Inspection
This step is as important as the previous one. The test drive begins long before you turn on the car ignition, you have to know the feel of the vehicle seats, and ensure that you can locate and reach all the controls. Once you are comfortable enough, you can start the engine. Be sure to keep your senses open to anything odd and stop any negotiations when you notice any.
Professional insight is required to complete this phase. You are very much allowed to bring in your mechanic to certify the purchase. This may cost you a few hundred dollars but I bet it is worth every cent.
Seal the Deal
This is the final and easiest part of the entire process. Once you’ve checked all other items on our “how to buy a used car in perfect condition” list, you can proceed to this phase. It involves negotiating a deal and setting a price, writing the check, and driving your car right home.
Since a car is not a minor purchase (considering the price), you should read all the sale documents before signing them (it is not the same thing as clicking “I accept” when installing new software). Never sign documents that are incomplete or incorrect as it is a detriment to you.
In summary, before driving that pre-owned car to your garage, you must know your pocket and narrow your choices. This is followed closely by a valid vehicle history report by checking the VIN (get USA free VIN check from Epic VIN). Thereafter, a test run and professional insight by a trusted mechanic should help assess your choice before eventually making the purchase and signing the deal.
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