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Eight Questions To Ask Yourself When Buying A Used Car

Eight Questions To Ask Yourself When Buying A Used Car

Taking the used car route is one of the simplest ways to keep your budget under control. But, while purchasing a pre-owned vehicle has several pitfalls, with a little due diligence, there's no reason you can't find a great used car at a price you can afford. Here are eight questions to ask yourself before buying a pre-owned vehicle.



How Much Time and Energy Do I Have?

Finding the perfect used vehicle often requires lots of time and energy. Consider the logistics of your search. Be honest about how much time you really have to devote to this job. Also, consider how far you're willing to travel for the right deal, as well as how soon all of this needs to take place.


How Much Can I Afford?

Along with the sticker price of your purchase, be prepared for unexpected expenses that may pop up in the near future. Even the most pristine used cars require regular maintenance. Belts, brakes, tires, and a host of other parts might be just a few thousand kilometres away from needing replacement. In addition, repairs, maintenance, and insurance often cost considerably more for most luxury brand vehicles.


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Should I Finance?

Avoid financing if possible, especially on older vehicles. Financing chips away at the huge savings that come with buying a used car. You may need or want to finance a late model but, you will save a lot in the long run if you can pay cash.


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What Type Vehicle Do I Really Want?

Be focused, but flexible, as well. Narrow down your needs and wants to a specific body style and car class. But be flexible within your basic framework. The car's original owner paid a lot of money for the privilege of customizing the vehicle to their specific tastes. Holding out for heated seats or a moonroof, for example, could quickly limit your choices.



Dealer or Private Party?

Some people sell their cars privately because it has problems that will come to light if they trade it in. Most reputable dealers won't put a vehicle on their lot if it's not in good condition. Typically, the first thing a car dealer does when they get a trade-in is to pull it into the shop and fix whatever needs to be fixed.



How Do I Choose a Dealer?

Buying a used vehicle, even from a dealer, can be a roll of the dice. It never hurts to browse their lot and get a sense of what they sell. Also, consider how long they have been in business, their online reviews, and recommendations from friends and family.



How Is This Vehicle Rated?

Once you have settled on the make and model of the vehicle you're after, it never hurts to check its trouble history. Some brands seem to top the initial quality and reliability surveys, year in and year out. The same goes for specific models within each brand.



What Do the Maintenance and Repair Records Say?

Not every vehicle history report has a lot to say. Some owners use small repair shops that don't report every oil change or belt replacement. A sparse history report doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. However, a detailed report showing regular oil changes and routine maintenance (especially if the work was done at a dealership), usually points to a conscientious former owner.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory, Tips, Used