The easiest way to save money is to buy used cars instead of new cars. When you buy a new car, as soon as you leave the dealer's parking lot, it begins to depreciate rapidly and lose a lot of value in the first few years of ownership. When you buy a used car, the original owner will suffer from its sharp depreciation in the first few years. If you buy a new car, you will spend much less money.
Used cars beyond the warranty period may require more maintenance, and their financing may be a little expensive. However, choosing a good predictive reliability rating and low cost of ownership vehicle can help you get huge money.
The following steps and car buying tips can help you buy the best-used car at a fair price.
Make a budget that you can afford to buy a car
Making a used car purchase budget is not as simple as looking for a used car, truck or SUV, because you think its monthly supply can be met. Although the monthly payment needs to be affordable, you need to look further to get a correct idea of the total cost of owning a car. This includes the interest cost of your car loan, how much insurance you will have to pay, your new riding, parking, and maintenance costs. Our auto insurance center provides tips to help you find the right insurance coverage, and our used car ranking and review includes information on the cost of ownership of different vehicles.
You will want to find a balance between purchase cost and cost of ownership. When you buy an old car, you can expect a lower price. However, the older the car, the more likely it is to require expensive maintenance. When you're waiting for a trailer instead of going to work, school, or a weekend vacation, your cost-effective deal to buy a cheap car won't look so good.
Fortunately, used car buyers now have more resources than ever to understand maintenance costs, common problems, and reliability. Information about the warranty coverage of certified used cars, the average cost of general maintenance, and the predicted reliability rating can be found in our used car review. You can check the special owner website to understand the problems that the driver is dealing with. If the owner of a car has problems, they may talk about them somewhere on the Internet. As long as you search the name of the car and "problems" in any search engine, you can know the common problems.
One often-overlooked factor you should consider when buying a used car is the cost of car insurance. The price will vary greatly according to the model you choose. Our auto insurance guide is to find the cheapest insurance with the right coverage for your new car.
Buying a suitable used car is more challenging than buying a new car. When you find a new car that meets your needs and budget, you just need to go to the dealer to buy it. When you buy a second-hand car, you should not only find the right model but also find a model that is on sale. Its mileage is low enough to attract people, its shape is good, there has been no failure, and it is well maintained. Oh, it must be nearby. Then you have to evaluate the seller to make sure it's not the one who's going to kill you.
In short, there are far more studies involved in evaluating an old car that has driven 36000 miles than evaluating a new car parked in a dealer's parking lot.
Choosing a used car to focus on is challenging. Should you choose an old car with many choices, or a new car with lower fuel consumption, fewer functions, and a similar price? You must consider where you drive, how many people you need to transport, why you drive, and how you drive. Then match these needs to your budget. For example, if you need to take your children to play football every day, don't buy a second-hand Mazda. If you commute downtown alone, buying a Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup may not be the best choice.
It is important to consider not only the size and performance of vehicles but also their fuel economy, safety level, and insurance cost. When you buy a used car, you can get options and features for a fraction of the new car price. In used cars, the premium brought by choice bags and higher decoration levels is almost not as high as in new cars.
Looking for affordable used car financing
If you have a lot of money and are going to pay cash, you can skip this part. However, if you are like most used car buyers, you need a loan to pay for used cars. Indeed, you can ask the dealer's finance office to arrange your financing. However, if you want to save money, you need to get a pre-approved financing proposal before approaching the car dealer. Dealers may be able to beat your pre-approved loans, but if you don't, they have no incentive to do so.
If you buy from a private party, you have no choice but to raise money yourself. This process may be different for private buyers, so be sure to talk to your lenders about what they need to advance your loan application.
Shopping and applying for a used car loan are similar to applying for a new car loan, but there are some important differences. Since lenders believe that used car loans are riskier than new car loans, you should expect to pay higher interest rates. Loan institutions generally believe that the risk of second-hand car loans is greater for several reasons, including the difficulty in predicting the value of second-hand cars. Is the value of the car as collateral for the loan. Used car buyers may also face higher maintenance costs, which may compete with the timely payment of the purchase price.
If you choose a relatively new car or a certified used car, you are likely to find a loan institution that will give you the same loan terms as the new car buyer.
It takes some preparation and works to reach a big deal in used car financing. Following these steps will help ensure that you get the best deal.
Making all financing plans before buying a car is the best way to prepare when the right car appears. This means before you consider going to a dealer or meeting with a private seller. The first step in the financing process is to look at your credit rating and explore the credit report behind your credit rating.
One of the main criteria considered by lenders is that your credit score will determine whether you get loan approval and the interest rate you get. Consumers with lower credit scores are expected to pay higher interest rates on car loans than consumers with higher credit scores. Compared with buyers with high credit scores, buyers with impaired credit may be required to pay more down payments or accept shorter loan terms. If you have good credit, you can expect below-average interest rates, long-term auto loans, and lower down payment requirements. Most used car transactions with special financing are reserved for buyers with top credit.
When you proactively check your credit score as early as possible, you have the opportunity to correct any mistakes. You can also spend time improving weak links in your credit history. The most important factors in your credit score are your on-time repayment record and the amount of outstanding debt.
Well, now the real fun begins. When you identify a car you may want to buy and get a pre-approved financing offer, it's time to delve into the history of the car. You want to know as much as you can about any car you're considering. This means getting a vehicle history report for a test drive and being checked by an independent mechanic to ensure the good mechanical performance of the vehicle.
Get a vehicle history report
The first step in evaluating a used car is to obtain a vehicle history report. You don't want to travel around the city - especially during the coronavirus pandemic - looking at cars that don't deserve your attention. Vehicle history reports from companies such as Carfax or autocheck can tell you whether a car is worth tracking, or whether there are too many danger signals to keep it on your list.
Before you run the report, you need to get the vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number from the seller. You can often get the license plate number from advertising photos.
Many dealers will provide reports free of charge. If you order it yourself, the cost of one report is expected to be about $25. If you buy a package of multiple reports, the cost may be lower. If you're looking at multiple cars, multiple report packs can help you save money.
What's in the vehicle history report? Although they are not perfect, vehicle history reports can tell you whether a car is worth your time to check, or it's time to turn to the next one.
A test drive is an opportunity to learn about a vehicle you might buy, assess its condition, and understand its performance. This is not a chance for your inner formula one driver to run freely. When this happens, most car dealers will immediately stop the test drive and ask you to do business elsewhere. If you do this in a private seller's car, you are likely to be financially responsible for the losses you have caused.
Receive independent mechanical inspection
A good test drive may prepare you to write a check and drive home right away. However, there is one key step you must complete before you decide to buy. With one exception, you should not buy a used car without a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection by an independent technician. The only exception is if you buy a relatively new, factory-guaranteed used car from a licensed new car dealer.
When we say independent mechanic, we mean the mechanic who works for you, not the seller. It's not enough to take the car back to the dealer's store, lift it with an elevator, and claim that the car is in good condition.
Yes, the mechanical inspection before purchase will cost you some money - maybe $100 to $200. However, if it can help you save a big mechanical repair soon after you buy it, it's worth it. In addition, it may highlight problems and give you additional bargaining power in your price negotiations.
Sometimes the seller will resist your request to inspect the vehicle. Sometimes they think it's not worth the trouble, while other times they try to cover up the known problems of the vehicle. No matter what excuse, you should be firm: no inspection, no sales.
Good repairmen can not only find problems that most car buyers don't know; They can also estimate the cost of maintenance. Their experience should tell them what the common problems of specific models are and identify when the correct collision repair and regular maintenance have been carried out. They will have access to databases identifying common issues to focus their attention on these areas.
If the mechanism finds a problem, it does not necessarily terminate the transaction. Any problem they find will become another problem to be solved in your price negotiation.
Complete the transaction
If the test drive and independent mechanical inspection do not cause any concern, it is time to negotiate the transaction, determine the purchase price, and complete the sales.
Negotiate a fair price
Price negotiation is both art and science. It is important to remember that this is not personal. Buying a car is a commercial transaction, no more and no less. The more emotions you show, the weaker your negotiating position is. Negotiations need to be based on facts, not your feelings.
In the past, most price negotiations were conducted face to face. Today, chatting, text messaging or email is likely to do the same. This is good for buyers because they have written records of quotations that the seller can't easily forget. You can use this information as a bargaining chip to communicate with other sellers.