Buying a used car help individuals and families to save money. However, the process of shopping for used cars can be more daunting than when you’re purchasing a brand new Hyundai Sonata online. Sellers often include attractive photos when advertising on websites or social media.
Even though the dealership will have several cars in their inventory, you need to tread with caution. This is the best way to avoid ending up with a car that needs expensive repairs or maintenance.
These tips are useful whether you’re visiting a dealership in your area or buying the car from an individual.
- Test drive
Inform the seller before going for the test drive. In case you have plans to check out several cars, schedule all the testings on the same day. This will enable you to weigh your options. It’s advisable to take along any car equipment to ascertain whether it’s suitable.
Make sure that the car has a matching tire tread to avoid poor alignment. Some of the reasons why you need to test drive a car are to detect red flags such as leaks and unusual smell. Never wave off these red flags as a minor issue because they may indicate serious underlying damage.
- Mechanic inspection
It’s possible that some issues won’t be revealed when you check the vehicle history report or during test driving. Your best bet is to invite a trusted mechanic to inspect the car under the hood before buying. He can detect certain damages that the seller is not aware of or was not reported.
Skipping this step is risky because many buyers had to pay hundreds of dollars on expensive repairs later on.
- Check vehicle history
The next thing is to conduct a vehicle history report after obtaining the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). A reputable seller will be willing to share this information.
This can help you to know whether the odometer readings have been tampered with or an insurance company has announced it as a complete loss. A vehicle history report will also show a car’s entire accident history.
- Research the fees
There are reliable sites with pricing tools for checking the prices of cars online. This can help you to design your budget and have an idea of what to expect. Consider checking dealership reviews in your locality as you take this step.
Ask about any other costs involved like the documentation fees and tax. If something seems out of place, request a breakdown of the cost. Be clear about the financing options you have from the beginning.
- Get ready to negotiate
It’s imperative to do your due diligence and listen to your gut when buying a used or new car. The information you’ve gathered will influence your decision and can give you an edge. Create a list of the questions to ask before visiting the dealership or meeting the seller in-person.
You can ask the customer care staff for a price quote. Hone your negotiation skills or visit the dealership with a friend who is good at negotiating.