The price of new cars has increased recently due to the improved safety features and technology extras that are now becoming standard equipment. Due to that, more people are considering used cars for their next vehicle purchase. Many dealerships will offer used cars as part of their inventory but you can also find a good selection from rental car companies and from private sellers.
If you are considering a used car, then you need to ask these questions before making the purchase:
Has the Car Been Certified Pre-Owned by a Dealer?
A CPO or certified pre-owned car is a used vehicle but with increased status. Often cars that are coming to the end of a lease are offered as a CPO by dealers. This will normally mean that the car has been maintained very well.
If there are any issues, the dealer will most likely repair them before they are put up for sale. The dealers will also include a new vehicle warranty which is in effect resetting the clock on the car. Everything begins from the mileage that’s on the car going forward. CPOs is the closest you will get to a new car but with a used car price.
What is the Mileage on the used car?
Cars are designed to last beyond the 100,000-mile mark. With regular maintenance, you can extend the life of your car to achieve those high mileages. But, if you are beginning from in excess of 100,000 miles, then you may be limiting yourself.
Also, there’s no guarantee that the previous owner took suitable care of that car. Consider purchasing a car with mileage around the 50,000-mile mark. A little higher or a little below can be the ideal range for a used car.
Is the Sale Private?
A private sale will work best if you know the seller. If you are trying to find a special ride, then you might only find one from a collector or private seller. That can mean going on a treasure hunt for the car, which can be a lot of fun. The one thing to keep in mind with a private sale is that they will be sold “as is.”
That does mean that after you complete the purchase and have the title transferred into your name, whatever goes wrong with the car will be your issue. That is the reason why you need to have a private car sale checked over first by your mechanic. If the seller does not want to go through that process, then walk away. Chances are that they are most likely hiding something.
Do You Have a Flexible Budget?
When purchasing from a private seller, at the time of the deal you will be expected to pay out a lump sum. Obviously, you will be aware of how much you can afford before entering a deal and there will always be some room to negotiate a lower price.
You can also finance the purchase of a used car in the same way you could with a new car. That does mean either being pre-approved or going through the car dealership. As with any large purchase you make, do not overstretch yourself by spending more than you can afford.
Have you Checked with Carfax?
Before the Internet, you had to trust a seller when they said the car had not been in an accident. With Carfax there are no unexpected surprises. This is a paid service that runs a background check on any vehicle based on its VIN number. That search can reveal how many owners a car has had and if it has ever been deemed salvage or not. It should also include details of any accidents both major and minor.