Buying a Used Car that Makes you Happy

By: David F.

Most people want to know how to buy a used car and still get the car of their choice at the best price. Most consumers feel that having car payments is an unavoidable fact that haunts you, so you think that you might as well just buy a new car rather than an older one. This article will help you get every advantage of buying a used car while teaching you how to avoid the pitfalls.

Thanks to the quality cars manufactures have put out over the years, a well-maintained car should remain on average reliable for at least 10 years and 100,000 miles. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that the average life span all vehicles is 128,500 miles. According to surveys conducted, on average, a consumer trades in or sells a car when it is only four and a half years old with just 41,000 miles on the odometer. In other words it means that most used cars out there have more than half their life left in them! Also when you buy a used car expensive head units, speakers, power assists, convenience options, and other equipment are less a factor in the resale price, compared to a new car with the same features.

Consumers Reports publishes excellent information on used cars, they include all of the expected maintenance and repair information.

Now you're at a point where you want to narrow your search for a particular type of vehicle to one or a few.

To check the recall record of any vehicle, all you need to do is call the U.S. Department of Transportation Auto Safety Hotline at (800) 424-9393. They will tell you if a car model has ever been recalled before and send you all available information concerning that recall. You could also visit alldata.tsb.com for the same recall information and other technical information about the vehicle.

It is very important that you know how much the car you're looking at is worth. To find out the standard book value of the vehicle check the N.A.D.A. (National Automotive Dealers Association) Official Used Car Guide , for the book value on your trade-in. You can find the Official Used Car Guide at public libraries, credit unions, and banks. The N.A.D.A. updates their car guide every month, so do not hold onto an old copy for to long. Also, pick up a copy of the newspaper and check the classifieds section for the type of vehicle you want. Use this to help you get a feel of how much you want to spend on the vehicle and what you feel is a fair price.

Now that you know how much you need, now you will need financing and insurance. Do not automatically accept the dealer financing, check with your bank and credit unions to compare the charges. Also while you at the bank consider pre-approved credit, which might help you get the price you want and your car the same day if you're going to buy through a dealership . Now you're going to want to call your insurance company, and get a quote for the vehicle you want to purchase. Now figure out if you can afford both your car payments, your insurance payments, and a little extra put aside for repairs. Check your local Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs Office, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (1-800-435-7352) for information on local automobile dealerships . Don't be afraid to make sure the dealers are licensed by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Ask to what professional associations they belong (Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association, Chamber of Commerce, etc.). How long has the dealership been in business?

Now you are ready to find one of the many available sources for automobiles, equipped with the knowledge of a fair price you are now protected from over-valued cars. Good Luck.

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