7 Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Used Car

Purchasing a used car can be a great way to get your dream vehicle at a great price. According to financial planners, buying a used car is one of the best financial strategies you can make.

In order to make a selection that will leave you without any regrets, it is wise to take your time. Whether you are shopping online or at a dealership, here are 7 things to keep in mind when shopping for a used car.

1. Stick to your budget. It is tempting to purchase a car with all of the bells and whistles. After all, you will be paying for the car over a long time period. However, you must be careful to only purchase a car that you can comfortably afford. If you have to eat noodles for dinner 3 days a week in order to afford your used car, that is a sign you should find a car within an affordable price range.

2. Get a vehicle history report. Carfax will provide you with details of the used car’s history. The small fee for a report can save you the hassle of purchasing a vehicle with a sordid past.

3. Test drive the vehicle. So you have found your dream car in your favorite color that is within your budget. Be careful not to let the excitement get you unfocused. Test drive the vehicle on the highway and side streets with a neutral third party to get an honest assessment of the vehicles’ performance.

4. Negotiate with the dealership or owner. It is never a wise move to take the first offer. Based on extensive research, you should present the dealership or owner with a price that represents a fair market value for the car.

5. Qualify for a pre-approval loan with a trusted financing company. Getting pre-approved for a loan can save you time and money in interest rates. Finance departments at car dealerships will offer loans at rates that are favorable to them. You will have better leverage if you are armed with a pre-approval letter.

6. Shop online to determine the type of car you want before you go to the dealership.This strategy will make it easier for you to stick to your budget and purchase a car that fits your specific needs.

7. Get the car inspected by your mechanic. You should not rely on the word of the seller or dealership about the condition of the car. A thorough car inspection can tell you about the condition of the hoses, tires and engine.

Applying these strategies can help you purchase a used vehicle that you can enjoy for years to come.