Are you in the market for a new car? Perhaps your family is growing, you need a new vehicle for work, or you are ready to upgrade an older car. Looking for the right car can be tricky, and of course you want to be sure to get the best deal possible. Here are some tips for finding the right car for you.
First, determine your budget for a car. How much money can you reasonably spend on a car? If possible, it’s best to use cash. Vehicles are depreciating assets and it’s not a wise financial decision to make payments with interest on something that is going down in value. This is why used cars are usually the better option. Looking for affordable pre-owned cars for sale will also give you more options of available vehicles, as opposed to trying to fit a new car into your budget.
Secondly, decide exactly what the purpose of the new car will be. Do you need more seats to transport your children and help with carpools? A van will be your best option. Do you plan to use it for physical work, such as construction? You would definitely need a truck. Whatever the purpose is, there will likely be plenty of used cars for sale in your area to choose from.
Now that you know your budget and the type of used cars you need, it is time to start looking. Check out the price listings at local dealerships and compare them to listings found online. Also, compare the listed prices to the listed value in the Kelley Blue Book. It may take time to find the right used car in your budget, but be patient. It is far better to take a little longer to make a financially sound decision than to rush into a purchase you may regret later. Also, don’t be afraid to check out some high end used cars. Their body design generally does not change, so there may not be much difference in the appearance of used luxury vehicles and new ones — but there will be a vast difference in the price.
All right, so you’ve found what seems to be the perfect vehicle. It fits in your budget and it meets your needs. The next steps are to look at the vehicle history report and test drive it. A vehicle history report will give you a factual record of the car’s accident and title history. During the test drive, pay close attention to how the brakes feel, if it difficult to steer, if the engine is making any unusual noises, and if the “check engine” light is on. These are all red flags that you may need to reconsider buying this car.
While most used cars are pretty reliable and dependent, it never hurts to have an inspection to make sure you will not end up with a “lemon.” The mechanic will thoroughly inspect the vehicle to ensure there are no problems with the engine or other potential problems. Once you have the thumbs up from the mechanic, you are ready to purchase the car.
Now it’s time to talk payment. As mentioned above, cash is the best option. If you are purchasing from a private party, using cash is your best bargaining tool to negotiate to a lower price. This is because the seller may be more interested in quickly getting rid of the car than anything else. However, this may not be as effective at a dealership. Dealerships sell new and used cars day in and day out, and they have a more steady stream of interested customers who are willing to pay full price. But if you have enough cash to purchase the car outright, you will avoid paying interest on future payments. This gives you the freedom to allot more money for insurance, future car maintenance, and other expenses.
There you go! If you remember to focus on purchasing a car that meets your needs and fits your budget, and take the necessary steps to ensure the vehicle is in good condition, and use cash to purchase, you are setting yourself up to make a wise financial decision in your next car purchase.