How To Purchase A Used Car

By: Tim Henry

Buying a used car is a bit trickier than buying a new caralthough you can follow most of the same guidelines for both.

First, know what car you have in mind. Research the car. Thereis a wealth of information online. Check the car manufacturersweb site, consumer reports and the edmunds.com. web site. Knowthe approximate value of the car before you head out to thedealer. Go to your bank or to your credit union before you goshopping and see how much money they'll be able to lend you on aused car. This way you'll have a much better idea what you canrealistically spend.

Realize that there are many different models of the same car.You may not find exactly the car with all the extras you want,or the exact color, but you may find something close that is agreat deal.

Most dealers are upright and honest when selling used cars. Theyoffer limited warranties with them. In the case of luxury endcars a lot of them still have warranties in effect when youpurchase them.

If you are buying from a private seller ask to see servicerecords. Go online and order a carfax car history report. Findout if the car will be sold "as is" or already state inspected.When you are serious about a used car make sure that you havetime to take the car to your mechanic for him to give the carthe once over, especially if it's being sold "as is". You don'tneed to find out after the fact that it needs many more repairsthan you thought. You can't tell just by a visual inspection.

The cosmetics of the car are an important factor in determiningit's value. Cars are generally rated as being in good, fair orexcellent condition. However, especially when purchasing from aprivate seller you'll find that these ratings vary, sometimesgreatly.

Whatever you do, don't let anyone pressure you into making aquick decision, especially a private seller. If you hearsomething like "I already have someone else who's willing togive me a down payment" let the car go. Stick to your guns, andyour budget. If you don't get this car it wasn't meant to be andthere will always be another, and better one

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