The Complete Guide to Buying a Used Car
Buying a car is a major financial decision and the last thing you can afford to do is rush into it. Purchasing a brand-new vehicle has its perks in terms of minimal wear and tear and low mileage, but it often comes with a sizable price tag. According to data from Experian, the average new car buyer finances over $11,000 more and has a monthly payment that’s $142 higher than the average used car buyer. Buying used, by comparison, tends to be much more affordable. While purchasing a car that’s been previously owned may mean forgoing that new car smell, it offers some advantages where your wallet is concerned since you may be able to find a quality vehicle at a fraction of the cost. (See: Buying a Car? Read This Financial Advice First)
That doesn’t mean, however, that used cars aren’t without certain risks. A vehicle that’s several years old may have higher mileage if the previous owner was a frequent driver. Used car dealers may not extend the same warranty protections that you might enjoy when purchasing a new car. While driving an older car can reduce your insurance costs, there’s a possibility that you could end up spending more on repairs than you would with a newer car.
Then there’s the question of whether the car has ever been in an accident. If a car has undergone substantial structural repairs because of a collision, that’s something you need to be aware of beforehand. Fortunately, the Internet now makes it possible to check a used car’s accident history before you buy so you can feel more confident about your final decision.
As you can see, used cars have both their pros and cons. If you’re considering buying a previously owned vehicle, it’s vital that you do your research. We’ve put together this used car buying guide to aid you during the car-shopping process. We’ve broken down step by step the most important considerations to keep in mind as you complete your quest for a new set of wheels. Keep reading to learn more about how to select a car and make sure that it’s road-ready, how to haggle over the final purchase price and how to secure financing once you’re ready to seal the deal.
What to Look for in a Used Car