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Aug 27, 2015

Things To Consider Before Buying A Used Car

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A used car can either be a money sink or a great investment for someone who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of a new vehicle. While it’s true that some cars run smoothly for decades at a time, the truth is it’s hard to tell in advance whether you’re about to buy a loyal workhorse or a constant source of frustration. If your finances are strained, you may have fewer options going forward, in which case you’re probably leaning towards buying used. Follow our guidelines to try and make the best decision possible.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Used Car

Doing your Due Diligence

Any amount of research is great for making sure the final outcome is in your favour. General topics that you may be interested in reading about include:

  • A review of the make of the car (i.e. model and year of production), specifically about issues commonly faced by owners of the car you’re looking at
  • Manufacturer recalls associated with that car
  • Other comparable vehicles that would meet your needs
  • Whether you can buy third party parts for the car

In addition to looking at your options and reading about the car type in general, the specific vehicle will be in its own unique condition. The best way to find out how the car runs is to take it for a test drive, with the best option being asking a trusted mechanic to give the car a once over. The garage you bring it to will know what to look for, and it’s impossible for non-mechanics to do the job on their own. Regardless of how many online articles teach them how to do it, they might have read in preparation.

Tip: make sure that the car has its papers since that could prevent you from engaging in an improper sale.

Looking at your Finances

Typically buying a used car means up-front savings with greater cash outlays further down the road. It could take only a few weeks or even years before you discover a costly fix requiring hundreds of dollars, or worse, you realize the car needs to be junked. With the money that you’ve saved from purchasing a cheaper car, be sure you stow some of it away for a rainy day fund because you don’t want to be stuck with a broken down car when you most need it for work or school.

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