Making the decision to purchase a used car can save you a great deal of money. However, if you’re purchasing a used car for the first time, it can be easy to make a human error and end up with a less-than-ideal vehicle. Fortunately, with the right advice and direction, this can be avoided. If you’ve decided that your new car should be a used one, use these tips to help you get the most out of any used car sale.
1. Take some time to look around for the best car dealers.
Although you can approach just any car dealer and get a used car, you’ll want to know what options are at your disposal so that you can get the best deal for your situation.
Let’s imagine, for example, that you’ve currently moved to West Africa and are on the hunt for your next car. Let’s also say that the best local deals simply aren’t as low as you expect. The answer? One of the best ways to find used cars for sale in Nigeria is to approach an online dealer with experience connecting buyers to car auctions in the United States. This way, you get access to the low prices you expect and can have your car easily imported from the U.S. Whether you’re looking for a Toyota from last year an older, used Honda Accord, take a closer look at local dealerships, independent car sellers, and alternative platforms so you get the best value for your money.
2. Do your research, so you know what you’re looking for before you shop.
Shopping around for just any vehicle is almost always a bad idea. Without knowing how much your chosen model should cost, you could end up spending way more than you should. Set aside some time to figure out what type of car you need (don’t just list brands like Nissan or BMW, but specifics like seating and other specs), determine what type of condition you may see these models in, and use a car calculator to provide you with a more accurate value. You may also want to back up photos of the cars and listings you like to a device like IBI so you always have your references with you.
3. Make a list of red flags to look out for.
Sometimes, it can be easier to know what to avoid when looking for a used car than to know what ideal conditions are. Some of the areas you should be inspected for potential issues include:
- The interior of the car: Check for things like odors (musty smells could indicate water damage or leaks), signs of wear and tear to the upholstery and pedals, and any lights that are showing up on the dashboard when the car is running. All of these are signs that the car may need extensive repairs before its safe for the road.
- The exterior of the car: Look at the overall quality of the body and whether or not it matches the mileage being advertised. If you notice that the suspension is shot or the tires look brand new, it could indicate that there are different mileages being advertised than are true for the vehicle in question. If the car has been parked in a certain area for an extended period of time, look beneath it to see if it’s been leaking any fluids that could be indicative of a serious problem with the car.
- The inner workings: Issues like dried drive belts, dirty fluids, and dying batteries can easily be avoided with a quick look under the hood and further evaluation by a professional inspector or mechanic.
- Potentially problematic features: Let’s say you’ve come across a used Tesla you’re interested in buying. As you may already know, many Teslas like the Tesla Model S are known as being self-driving cars, offering autopilot features to drivers so they can give control to an autonomous vehicle. No matter what you may have heard, good or bad, it’s crucial that you research the self-driving car accident statistics so that you know what to expect should you decide to purchase a vehicle with these additions.
As long as you do your due diligence, you should be able to avoid cars that are being falsely advertised or are going to more trouble than they’re worth.
Although buying a used car can take a great deal of research and caution, it will be well worth the effort with the money you save when all is said and done. To make sure you get the most out of any used car sale, use the tips above to successfully prepare for your car search.