When it comes time to replace your old beat-up car, it’s tempting to look up the most recent used car sales and go make a purchase. While this approach will certainly make your local dealer’s used car sales team happy, it may not result in the best decision for you. Instead of falling for a bad deal when used car buying, here are some things you should avoid when purchasing your next used car.
Focusing Only On The Price When Used Car Buying
Yes, the price we pay for our next vehicle is a pretty significant element of the purchase. The problem is that the price can become the focus of the search, which can lead to poor decisions. Think about it, when people talk about their concerns with used car sales departments, they always talk about a fear of getting ripped off or paying too much for a car.
Instead of focusing on just the price, consider if you’re getting a good deal. When it comes to used cars, there are tons of factors to consider: year, make, model, trim-level, add-on packages, upgrades, mileage, and more. Determining if you got a good deal on a new car is easy since there are identical options all over the place. No two used cars are the same, so it’s a little more difficult to determine a great deal.
Another place to focus your attention is if you’re getting the car you need without spending more than you can afford.
Not Understanding The Financing Terms
The chances are that you’ll finance your next vehicle purchase. Sadly, not everyone understands the terms of their financing, and they end up paying more than they thought they would. For example, you might be able to get the sales team to remove a document fee or upgrade cost, but then miss that the interest rate will mean paying an extra $2000 over the life of the loan. Bad decisions are especially true when we shop only based on the monthly payments of the car and not the overall price.
Take time to look at and think about the impact of your financing terms. You may find negotiating the length of the loan, the interest rate, or how much you put down will save quite a bit of money in the long run. More importantly, do your homework upfront, so you know what kinds of terms are most desirable to you.
Judging a Book By Its Cover When Used Car Buying
Cars are made to be attractive to the eye. That’s why it’s sometimes hard to overlook the exterior of a vehicle. Every day, a driver purchases a car because it looks cool, has a sporty theme, or compliments their personality. These drivers end up disappointed because the vehicle’s function and capability didn’t match its appearance.
Take some time to determine what you need out of your car before you start looking. If you need to haul materials for work, it’s not worth looking at sportscars. If you’re trying to save money on gas, stay away from three-row SUVs.
While you’re doing your homework, make sure to check out the vehicle’s history report. You want to know if this car has been maintained, repaired, or sold multiple times. A new wax job might look nice, but it doesn’t override the fact that the car was in several accidents and may no longer be 100% safe to drive.
Take Your Time and Do Your Own Research
Even if you’re in need of new wheels fast, don’t rush into buying something from whatever local used car sales you happen to run across. There are tons of reviews and reports for nearly every car out there. If you avoid focusing only on the price, take time to understand your loan, and make sure your car meets your needs, you won’t fall into the trap of making a bad decision. Now you’re ready to get behind the wheel of your dream car.