I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…

Frugal living and debt reduction tips for a better financial future. This is one family’s story.

August 23rd, 2011

How to Save Money Buying a Used Car

An increasing number of people, in recent years, have turned towards the option of buying a used car. It seems that as soon as you buy a car its depreciation starts immediately and your car just isn’t worth what you paid for it. For many people it’s made more financial sense to buy a used car, especially in today’s economically turbulent time. But if you’re on the market for a car, before you buy used there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you make the purchase.

How Much Can You Spend:
This should be your first step before you even walk out the door or go online. You should be factoring in what you can afford versus what you can spend. Before beginning your shopping, decide on a limit and under no circumstances should you go past that amount. Don’t tell the dealer what your limit is because they’re likely to try and get everything they can out of you. Start a little lower than your actual limit and then work from there. If not you’re likely to get talked into spending far more than you planned.

Vehicle History:
First of all, the first thing on the mind of anyone looking to buy a used car is the condition of the vehicle. Not everyone takes care of their car like you would so use web sites like Carfax.com, which will give you a run down of the vehicle’s history. This will tell you of any accidents or touch-up work the automobile has had in the past. Using this resource is essential towards making sure you’re not buying a car that has a checkered past. You don’t want to end up with a headache of a car that’s bleeding you dry when it comes to repairs.

Shopping Around:
Don’t go to just one or two places before making your decision. Just because a salesman is telling you that the deal offered is too good to pass up doesn’t make it true. Visit several car dealers. You can do this online as well so you don’t end up spending a lot on gas. Your objective here is to save money so compare the cost, condition, selection, and mileage on all of the vehicle options. Don’t go for the fringe features on a car. What you’re looking for is affordability and a car that won’t kill you in maintenance costs. Don’t be distracted by all the bells and whistles.

Make Sure You’re Clear On the Details:
Don’t purchase the car unless you feel confident with all of the details of the purchase. You’re likely to spend the next five years with the car so make sure your decision is based on rational thinking rather than a motivation to get behind the wheel. Ensure that your contract is clear and the warranty is understood fully. Don’t let the experience overwhelming because it’s likely to be a lengthy experience. You should also leave with a clear definition on the return policy in case anything goes wrong with the car.

The main goal is to save yourself money so use some of these tips, and others that you can find online to save yourself a lot of money. Taking these steps and the time out to consider all of your options will put you in a much better place in making the best and most informed decision on such a huge purchase.

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One Response to “How to Save Money Buying a Used Car”

  1. I really think my friend got a great deal by shopping for her used car from an individual owner. It was in great shape and we just used the internet to see if the price he wanted was fair. He sold it to her for less than the value listed on edmunds….he just wanted rid of it!