While most specialists recommend buying a new vehicle, there are situations when a used one makes a lot more sense from a financial point of view. The prices are lower than with new vehicles and the vehicles have already been tested on the road.
But there is the risk of hidden wear and tear and most buyers tend to make some mistakes when first purchasing a used vehicle. So, to avoid losing your hard-earned money, have a look at the ones mentioned below.
#1: You Focus Too Much on the Price
Given that you’re in the market for a used vehicle, it’s only natural to care for the price. However, it’s important to give yourself a bit of wiggle room, in case you find a good deal.
Now, speaking of making a deal, most of us seem to be extremely set on getting the lowest possible price. Even more, when buying a car (new or used) many buyers are afraid of getting ripped off by the dealership, former owner, or bank (in the case you use a financing option). As a result, your main focus is on negotiation, instead of looking for signs of wear and tear.
The ideal way to avoid this mistake is to set an upper limit on your car budget and stick to it. This way, you’ll eliminate vehicles that are too expensive, and the need to haggle will lower. However, it’s also important to understand that no two used cars are the same.
If you could get the same price for two new vehicles of the same make and model, this won’t happen in the used cars market. Prices depend on the level of maintenance, personal preferences of buyers, and other factors.
#2: Not Considering a Wide Range of Options
When buying a used car you should take a bit of time and research the market, with websites like AutoVolo a recommended starting point. For this, establish several general factors that matter, like the age of the vehicle, power, space (inside and in the trunk), level of usage, and so on.
As you can see, among the factors that matter, we didn’t mention the brand or model. That’s because these are subjective and only hinder your search for the best car for your budget. While you may be dreaming about owning your very own Chevrolet Camaro, if you are on a budget, it’s best to put that dream aside and make a rational decision.
The good news is that nowadays you don’t have to rely only on ads in the local newspaper. There are many online platforms that allow buyers and sellers to meet in the middle, negotiate prices, and chat without leaving the comfort of their home.
#3: You Underestimate the Cost of Ownership
A vehicle (even a used one) is a long-term investment, so it’s best to make sure you can afford it. So, before you let the emotional brain take over, take a break from negotiations and put everything into perspective.
Now that you have a few possible vehicles in mind, calculate the gas consumption per year and factor in gas prices. Next, think about maintenance. Given that you’re buying a used vehicle, you will have to invest some extra money in maintenance right away, to make sure everything is running smoothly. But you also have to consider regular checkups and usual problems other users report for that specific type of vehicle.
Finally, the list is complete when you add insurance and taxes.
In conclusion, the best way to avoid mistakes when buying a used car is to approach the decision from a rational place. While it’s true that a new car in your life can be an emotional decision, it’s best to think everything through.