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The Complete Guide For What You Need To Know When Buying A Used Car

young man looking at used vehicle discovering what to know when buying a used car

Although they may be cheaper on the front end, the fact is that used cars are just as serious an investment as new cars. Unless they are carefully vetted, used cars can create a host of pricey problems related to mechanical and cosmetic failure.

Buyers should carefully consider all aspects of the car purchasing process before committing themselves to years of monthly payments, insurance policies, and maintenance repairs.

When To Choose A Used Car Instead Of A New Car

When it comes to buying new or used vehicles, knowledge is key. There are arguments on both sides of the issue that simultaneously support and discredit the purchase of either option. However, these arguments require a strict knowledge of personal needs and lifestyle choices to be truly answered.

Ultimately, three of the most concrete reasons why buyers will choose a used car instead of a new car include:

  • Cheaper overall price
  • Lower depreciation value over time
  • Smaller monthly insurance costs

Buyers should carefully decide if used cars will be the right choice for them.

5 Important Things You Need To Know When Buying A Used Car

The process of buying a used car seems like a jungle of things to do, see, and watch out for.  Here are five of the most important things you need to know when buying a used car.

Research A Reliable Vehicle

Research is an excellent place to start when buying a used car. Use search engines to locate potential vehicles, or ask your friends and mentors what used models they trust the most. Be aware of your needs before starting your research. What vehicle specifications do you need for your current stage of life?

This stage car of buying is paramount, and cannot be rushed. Don’t be afraid to take your time.

Choose The Right Financing

One of the most important things you need to know when buying a used car is how you plan on paying for it.

There are several options for payment, from cash-in-hand to credit cards. However, the most common method of payment is with an auto loan. Financing through loans is by far the most efficient method of paying for a used vehicle. Getting an auto loan from your local credit union is very simple, and can be applied for online. Receiving pre-approval is another step that greatly simplifies the car buying process.

Negotiate Your Prices

In our world of discounts, rebates, and coupons, it can be difficult to negotiate prices using only words. However, there are many proven techniques that first-time negotiators can implement during their hunt for the perfect used car.

  • Bring along a family member or trusted friend who will support your game plan. Your companion will help calm your nerves in a big way, and generally provide a sense of confidence on your journey.
  • The power of silence is very important in the world of negotiation. Do not be afraid to sit silently, even if the pause is long or uncomfortable. Remember, the purchasing power is all in your hands: you can leverage that to your advantage.
  • Spend time doing as much research as you can about the used car you want. If there are cheaper deals or better prices available in other dealerships, explore these options first.

All negotiations feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, especially for those undertaking the challenge for the first time. Don’t lose heart during the negotiation process! Chances are you will be glad you stuck to your guns.

Find A Good Mechanic

Finding mechanical and cosmetic issues with used vehicles is vital before you decide to close the sale. Although many dealerships and car lots offer to provide inspection services for you, it may be a wise decision to have the vehicle evaluated off-site.

Contact a local mechanic in your area to complete a full vehicle inspection, and to check for any expensive repairs that would be necessary within the next few years.

Test Drive The Car At Least Once

A great way to get familiar with a vehicle is to take it on a test drive. Sellers often allow buyers to drive their cars on local roads, enabling them a better feel for the vehicle.

If any red flags cause you to be concerned about the quality of the vehicle, simply begin looking for a new car. It is important to note that test driving a car does not lock you into buying it.

Stay In The Know With Atlantic Financial Federal Credit Union

There is a lot to consider when it comes to what you need to know when buying a used car.

At Atlantic Financial FCU, we have supported car buyers for over 70 years and counting. Our valued members have come to expect nothing but the highest quality of care and personal service in all their financial needs, from auto loans and credit lines to the savings accounts you need to succeed.

Want more helpful tips for your next car purchase?

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