When you have decided that it’s the right time for you to purchase a car, it’s a major decision, and it’s something which will affect your life for the next several years (until you make another car purchase, that is). But while there are many used cars on the market, you have to make sure that the decision you make on your car purchase is the right one – the right one for your budget, needs, and lifestyle. So, what does it take to make the proper choice when buying a used car? Here’s your complete guide to a great used car purchase.
Before you begin looking for that perfect car and checking out reviews, you should first determine what you can afford. When it comes to budgeting for a used car, know this: you have to come up with the down payment, find a good financing rate, and consider your monthly payments as well. Essentially speaking, it would be a good idea to put down about 10% of the car’s price when you make your down payment. For example, if you want to buy a truck worth $20,000, then you need to have a minimum of $2000 for the down payment upfront. Of course, if you have more than 10% for the down payment, that’s even better – the more you pay for the down payment, the less monthly payments you have to settle. Here’s one rule you should remember as well: it’s best to not spend over 20% of your income per month on your car payments. It would also be a good idea to have a fund for emergencies, such as repairs, and factor in your own state’s sales taxes as well.
The proper research
Now it’s time to find your car. But first, you need to determine the car’s purpose and what you would like it to do for you. What do you need? Do you need a lot of trunk space? Do you need an all-wheel-drive vehicle? Do you need a vehicle with good fuel economy? Make sure to prioritize what you need, as no car will be absolutely perfect. So, know what your negotiables and non-negotiables are from the beginning. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations from friends and family as well and check out reviews for the car you have in mind. Here’s another thing: it is often better to buy a used car from a dealership such as the Young Automotive Group because they can offer you certified and pre-owned vehicles which can give you better peace of mind.
The proper car
With your budget and the proper research done, it’s now time to look for your car. You can search by model and make, price, or body style, and once you have found a prospective vehicle, you can contact the dealer and ask them whether they can provide you with a vehicle history report. If you can, have a mechanic check the car as well so they can confirm whether the car is a worthy buy or not.
You can then test drive the vehicle. When test driving it, make sure to test all the controls, the air conditioning, and the steering. If you can, drive the car along back roads as well as the highway, and see how well you can handle it in stop and go traffic. Even if the salesperson already has a pre-determined route for the test drive, ask them if you can drive the car off the route for a while. Don’t forget to practice parking, and once you are done with the drive, inspect the car’s exterior, interior, and under the hood to see (and smell) if anything is off. Good luck, and happy car hunting!