Buying a car is a fairly straight forward matter, however, buying a used car can be a bit more involved.
To begin with, have some kind of idea as to just what sort of car you are after. Are you looking for a family car, a work vehicle, a run-around, sedan, wagon, off-road, or a truck, etc? The internet is a great starting point for your research, where you will be able to find out the approximate value of the car, and check out a number of dealers also. It would be prudent to get your credit checked, if you are going to have the vehicle financed, before you go to buy the vehicle. If you are going to have the vehicle financed, you better hope you don’t have any blemishes on your credit report. Could be embarrassing. Find out how much money your bank will be prepared to lend you on a used car, giving you a better idea of how much you can realistically spend.
Do try not to be pedantic about the specifications of the car you are after, I very much doubt you will be able to find a vehicle that matches your every wish as far as type, model, style, colour, etc. A bit of flexibility is called for when purchasing a pre-loved car.
Most dealers, certainly reputable dealers, are upright and honest when selling used cars, and will offer limited warranties with them. In the case of luxury end cars a lot of them still have warranties in effect when you purchase them.
If you are buying from a private seller ask to see service records, a bit of a big ask sometimes, but if they looked after their car reasonably, these documents should be available to you. Find out if the car will be sold «as is» or already having had an inspection for road worthiness. Always take the vehicle for a road test and then take it to your local mechanic and have them check the vehicle out. Your local mechanic’s professional opinion of the overall state of the car is most important. Your mechanic will know what to look for, and also put it on a hoist and check the underneath of the vehicle for any frame damage, or damage repair, this will be an indication of any accidents the vehicle may have encountered. If there is a list of problems pass on it.
Good, fair or excellent condition, as ratings of cars for sale go, can often depend on the sellers own opinion and can vary enormously from yours, so, do not merely take their word for the cars condition, especially when purchasing from a private seller.
Always remember, the person selling a car, whether a dealer, or private, is in a hurry to do so, so there is a fair amount of pressure involved on their part. As the prospective buyer, you have time on your side, time to do the research and check the vehicle. If the seller is impatient, or overly aggressive, move on. There are plenty more cars out there, and one of them has your name on it. I hope you have found these tips for buying a used car helpful.