How To Make A Smart Used Car Purchase

Tips for Making Your Used Car Purchase a Smart Buy

Buying a used vehicle is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck - you're more likely to be able to afford vehicles with those extras you crave, like navigation systems, heated seats, or built-in DVD players. For some people, buying a used vehicle can seem a little daunting - so here are a few tips for making sure your used vehicle is a smart buy:

  • Buy a Certified Pre-Owned. You'll have peace of mind knowing your vehicle has been inspected, serviced, and repaired as needed. Because of this, it's being sold with an extended warranty that is really valuable. Buying certified pre-owned lets you know you haven't bought a lemon. There's an old saying that says "If you buy an 'as is' vehicle, you drive off the lot, and it breaks into two pieces… you own both pieces." Go Certified Pre-Owned with your purchase. You'll be glad you did.
  • Buy from a Dealership with a Good Reputation. Dealerships have service departments and can run vehicles through basic inspections to make sure all the basics are working - and service the vehicle. If you purchase from an individual seller, you won't get that benefit, and you have no way of verifying their credibility - you have to just hope the seller is telling the truth. Dealerships are businesses who care about building a quality reputation and serving their customers.
  • Research the specific vehicle you want to buy. Learn about the average prices, potential weaknesses of the model you're looking at, and typical repair costs. You'll always feel better going in to shop with plenty of knowledge under your belt.
  • Inspect the car yourself. Look under the car for rust, and under the hood for any issues. Check the tires and wheels, and closely examine both the interior and exterior of the car to make sure you're 100% happy with what you purchase.

Author Note: Christi is the owner and author of the blog 'Frugal Novice' (http://frugalnovice.com/), you can also find her on Facebook!

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