Owning a pre-owned car comes with fewer concerns these days. The ability to research VINs to pull up accident histories tells a potential buyer the full tale about a used far. “Fewer concerns” doesn’t mean “no concerns” though. A buyer shouldn’t rush into buying a previously owned car. Each time a vehicle pulls out on the road, parts suffer a minute level of wear and tear. Even with decent care and maintenance, all that wear and tear adds up. Poor care makes things worse.
Still, purchasing a previously owned car can be a good idea. Just be sure to consider five things before choosing a model.
High-Mileage Cars Soon Require New Parts
Even when the original owner performed all required preventive maintenance and did so on schedule, a car with 150,000 miles on it needs new parts sooner or late. A few of those parts could be costly. Timing belts, fuel pumps, oxygen sensors, and water pumps may all require replacing before the 200,000, mile mark.
Getting a good deal on a high-mileage car can be inviting to a buyer. Don’t forget these vehicles often require more repair and work than one with fewer miles.
Check Credible Consumer Resources
Journalists and researchers enjoy helping out people in the market for a car. A misconception exists about their published work. Buyers assume these pros only write about new cars hitting the market. Not so. Information about top previously owned models can be easily accessed as well. Take the time to review all reviews and performance reports about used versions of popular models. This way, less mystery exists about what to expect with the model.
Of course, how well the previous owner took care of the vehicle plays a role as well. Poor care undermines even a great car.
Set a Budget
How much can you afford to spend on a used car? Spending doesn’t necessarily mean buying the car in cash. Think about down payments and what you can borrow. Look at the source for financing an auto loan closely. High rates of interest might not cause problems right away, but they can eventually stress a budget.
Setting a purchase budget must include a bit of thought about the vehicle to be purchased. Buying the cheapest car without paying any concern for quality could be a regrettable decision. Saving money usually guides the choice to buy a used car. There’s nothing wrong with that. Opting to purchase a vehicle solely due to the low price without concern for performance, condition, and capabilities may prove shortsighted.
Go Outside of Your Local Area
You aren’t likely planning on buying the car and then selling it four months later. Since you plan on making a somewhat lengthy commitment to owning the used car, would it not make sense to travel a little to buy the best available vehicle? To travel 120 miles or so to buy a used car shouldn’t be seen as a hassle. Consider the trip an adventure leading to a treasure. The treasure comes in the form of an excellent previously owned vehicle.
Request an Inspection Before Buying
Ask the seller if you can take the car to a mechanic for an inspection. A mechanic can likely perform a multi-point inspection for a nominal fee. Consider the expense an investment into your peace of mind. Little agitates a car buyer more than discovering mechanical issues and other defects soon after taking the car home.
An inspection should reveal all. The problems could be minor ones. No issues may be present. The potential also exists that a serious issue needs fixing. Learning in advance about the vehicle’s condition allows you to decline the chance to purchase or make the buy and perform any repairs. At least you get to make the preferred choice.