13 Essential Tips for Buying a Used Car
Need to buy a car but don’t really know much about them? Then you’re in need of some good tips for buying a used car.
The buying process can be a little scary, and sometimes you don’t really have anyone to help you figure it out. You hear the horror stories about people getting ripped off or sold a faulty car, and you can’t help but worry.
When it comes to what to look for in a used car, there are some pretty specific red flags and indicators you should be looking out for. That’s what we’re here for.
At Duliban Insurance Brokers Ltd., we’ve seen plenty of customers who buy a used car and don’t realize how much it affects their insurance. You need to be aware of the factors that go into purchasing a car and making sure it’s right for you.
Here are some essential tips for buying a used car, no matter if it’s your first car or if you’ve done this before. We can all benefit from some good advice.
1. Know What You Need Beforehand
The first thing you need to do when you’re shopping for a used car is to know what you need.
Do you carpool a lot? If so, a two-door isn’t the best idea. Are you a hockey player? Then you’re going to need a good amount of trunk space.
Once you decide what you need, you can start searching and browsing secondhand cars for sale.
2. Start Your Search Online
You can start your search for a used car online to get a good idea of what’s out there before you actually go anywhere. Start with websites such as AutoTrader and Kijiji to see what people are asking in terms of price.
When choosing between a private seller and a dealership, remember there are pros and cons to both options.
With a seller, you’ll likely get a better price, but you’ll have to take the risk that the seller isn’t withholding important information. When you buy from a dealership, you’re likely going to pay much more than necessary, but you can trust that you know what you’re paying for.
Knowing what’s out there will give you a good idea of who is asking for too much money when you to go test drive cars.
3. Research the Model
If you’re shopping for a used car and you find one you’re interested in, do your research first and foremost. Check reviews for that specific model, ask friends, search forums, and check for negative news or buzz.
Doing an online search will help you determine if people are talking about specific issues that they’ve had with a certain model of car. These reviews and conversations come from the user, so you can trust them to tell you the truth.
4. Compare Prices and Shop Around
The best way to buy a used car is to shop around as much as possible. Don’t settle on the first one you see, and don’t become overly attached to a car if you can find one for a better deal or value.
Test drive a handful of different types of cars, even if you don’t want them. You need to know what’s out there in order to make the best decision with a clear mind, and you never know- you could end up loving something completely different than what you originally wanted!
5. Make a Budget and Stick to it
Before you get excited and start searching through the secondhand cars for sale, take a hard look at your finances. Figure out what you can afford and draw a solid line there.
Do not go over this budget, even if you spot a car you just have to have. You’ll regret it later.
6. Inspect Everything
When it comes to what to look for in a used car, you should search for any indications of visible damage or wear and tear.
Check every inch of the car’s interior and exterior. Make sure there isn’t too much rust, especially around the doors and at the bottom.
You should also check the buttons, locks, brakes, windshield wipers, steering wheel, and even the radio stations. Yes, check the horn too! Beware of a car that’s too clean– the seller could be covering something up.
Additionally, look at the wheels and make sure they’re all aligned properly and that all of the tires match. This is an indication that the tires were thrown together and that they could be a problem.
7. Don’t Look for Cars in the Rain or at Night
When you’re buying a secondhand car, never go and look at it in the rain or at night. This limits visibility and could cause you to miss something you would have seen in the daylight.
In addition, all cars look good in the rain, so make sure the weather is clear and you can see if the paint is chipped or there are scratches on the body.
8. Test Drive it on the Highway
You never really know how good a car is until you take it on the highway and see how fast it speeds up.
When you test drive a car, spend at least 30 to 45 minutes in it. Don’t just drive it around the block and be done with it. You need to make sure you can get used to it and can handle it in all road conditions.
9. Take it to Your Own Mechanic
When you find a used car you’d like to buy, bring it to your own mechanic, who you can trust to tell you the truth about the parts. They’ll also tell you if it needs any major work that could bring out hidden costs in the future.
10. Consider Fuel Costs
It might not be the first thing on your mind, but one of the most overlooked tips for buying a used car is fuel efficiency. That fantastic deal you got on your car isn’t going to mean anything when you’re spending half your paycheck on gas every month.
11. Negotiate the Price
When you’re buying a secondhand car, whether it’s from a dealership or a private seller, always try to negotiate. Don’t settle for the list price if there’s a chance you can get it cheaper. Often, these sellers are just looking to see if they can make as much as possible, and they have a magic number they’ll settle for.
Additionally, be mentally prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right.
12. Check the Vehicle’s History
The seller is required to tell you the vehicle’s history, such as any previous accidents. You don’t want a vehicle that’s been in too many accidents because there could be some internal damage that results in unexpected costs in the future.
You can get the vehicle history yourself by taking the vehicle identification number (VIN) and running it through a car check program such as CarProof.
13. Get a Car Insurance Quote Before You Buy
Sometimes older cars don’t qualify for the same insurance premiums and coverages that newer cars do. In addition, some cars are more expensive to insure than others due to a large number of variables and factors.
Don’t wait until you buy the car to see what your insurance would cost. No car is worth taking the risk of minimum coverage.
Get a car insurance quote from a local insurance broker you trust before you make your purchase to make sure that you’ll be able to get the coverage you need to stay safe on the roads.
Trust a Local Insurance Broker to Find You Affordable Car Insurance
Your car is a big investment. Make sure that you have it protected in case anything happens.
At Duliban Insurance Brokers, we’re on your side. We want to make sure you get the best premium and coverage at the price you need.
Our team works with 20 different insurance companies in Ontario to have them compete over your business. This way, we can find you the best quote possible.