Buying a used car is one of the best options available to you when you need something reliable to drive. But a used car is only dependable if you complete some steps before you put any money down on it. Just because a used car looks good in front of you, does not mean that it won’t leave you stranded along the side of the road.
This 10-point checklist will keep you moving in the right direction, preventing you from making any mistakes along the way. Print it out and make a few copies to take with you. Check each point off as you complete them.
10 Important Points While Buying a Second Hand Car
- Set a Budget: Having a budget is something that you should have been doing since you started paying bills, but if you have just been winging it the entire time it is a perfect time to make one. It gives you the ability to see how much money you have leftover at the end of each month, as well as giving you the chance to put some money away for a down payment.
- Research: You will need to go online and research the type of vehicle that you need. That word, “need” is important here because, unless the point of buying a car is to have your dream vehicle, you have to be down-to-earth and choose one based on your long-term requirements.
- Compare Financing Options: Go online and find a platform that will do all the leg work for you, giving you offers from various lenders. Used Hondas are a long-term investment, but one that lenders will approve of because of the quality that backs the Honda name. Do not ever go with the first offer though. Compare all your options and find the lender that can offer you low rates and great service.
- Apply for Loan Pre-Approval: Since you have already been online comparing your financing options you will need to apply for pre-approval through the company, or companies, that you have chosen to work with. This step will save you some time when you get to the used car lot and will give you an estimated number to stay under when picking out the car you want.
- Trade or Sell Your Current Vehicle: Unless you are trying to get another vehicle to add to your collection you will want to consider trading in to lower the costs of the used vehicle that you are looking at. Keep in mind that trading in a car may not be as lucrative as a private sale, so if you have the time, sell it as a private person and use the money for a down payment on the one that you want.
- Large Down Payment: The bigger your down payment is, the lower the overall cost of the used car will be. The budget, mentioned earlier, will give you the ability to save up before beginning the buying process.
- Consider a Certified Used Car: Buying a used car can be a little nerve-racking, especially if you are not familiar with the mechanics behind the vehicle. A certified used car has gone through thorough inspections to make sure that it is safe, and mechanically sound before it is placed on the lot for sale. This means that you will be buying a car that will be as reliable as a car can be.
- Inspect the Used Car: Even though you have followed the steps above and limited your scope to looking to certified used cars, you will want to check the vehicle out on your own. If you are familiar with vehicles, check it out yourself, otherwise, pay an automotive shop to run it through a battery of their own tests.
- Test Drive: Test driving a car is a crucial step of the buying process and should never be overlooked. You need to drive the car in the fashion that you plan to use it, to make sure that it will hold up to the tasks that you are asking it to do.
- Sign The Contract: Once you have completed all the steps above it is time to get to the contract. This is the paperwork that the used car salesperson will go over with you after you have committed yourself to a Honda of your choosing.
These are the 10 tips that you need to follow when purchasing a used car. It is never a promising idea to go on a lot without being prepared. You need to know what you want, why you want it, and what you need to focus on. Ignore the flashy sports car parked in front of the building. Stick with the research that you completed and find the car that you decided fits your lifestyle the best.