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Oct 21 2017

Buy Used Cars: Second Hand Cars Buying Guide

If you are looking to buy a used car, you are not alone. Used cars have become a major contribution in the modern auto industry. These cars offer reliability at a significantly low price.

You may face difficulties when buying a used car. It may be due to a lot of confusions and doubts about used cars. One should have all the good information regarding the used cars that they are going to buy. You may feel pressure and lack of information and that may leave you nowhere. You need to do proper research before making a purchase.

 Keep reading about how to buy used cars.

Assess Your Needs

Before buying a used car, you need to assess your needs to reach at an informed decision. You need to assess why you want to buy a used car: are you buying it for office, long drives, or family? Answers to these questions can make your decision easier.  How will you use the car is also important to consider? What are some of the features that you are looking for? Doing proper research can make it easier for you to reach at a good decision.

Set a Budget

Used cars offer value at a low price. This is a major reason behind the purchase of used cars. It turns the focus on budget. You need to define a budget limit for you before purchasing a used car. It also means setting the right expectation when buying a used car. Finding huge inventory of used cars, you may decide to spend extra that will not be good for you.

If you can afford it does not mean that it is a good car. You need to take many factors into consideration. Keep all of your monthly expenses in mind when going to buy a used car. Expenses like Rent or mortgage, Utilities, Groceries, Phone and Internet bills, Student loans/other debts.

You also need to take care of hidden costs of a used car. Owning a used car does not mean that you will only pay for a vehicle, they are some hidden expenses that you need to take into account. You should keep in mind car insurance rate, various taxes and fees and expenses of car maintenance.

Start Your Search

If you are looking to save money on used cars, you need to do a thorough research. Research involves which cars you are looking to buy. You may decide to go for Honda and Toyota at the first, but you may get good deal at cars of Nissan. A good way to determine this is to take into account all your expenses.

You can start your search at user forums, and many other sites. There are many used cars buying sites that provide reviews of the cars and their models. You can check for the used cars specifications, interior and features in the light of what you expected.

Where To Buy Used Cars?

It is time to figure it out where you want to buy used cars. You have completed your search it is time to know where you are going to buy your car.

There are some options for you to buy used cars.

  1. Private Owners
  2. Used Car Dealers

Here are some advantages of buying with used cars dealer vs. private owners.


  • It is a huge advantage to deal with dealerships as used car dealerships handle all the paperwork involved in the purchase of used cars.
  • Many dealers offer financing options. If you are out of cash you can make a plan with your dealer.
  • Some dealers may offer warranties on used cars.
  • Dealers take care of their cars and thoroughly inspect them. Even they repair the cars, if necessary.
  • Dealership offers you huge inventory of used cars.  
  • Dealership offers you a more legal protection as compared to a private owner.

Private Owners

  • You can find private owners easily by asking your friends and family.
  • Many private owners use blue book value to assess the value of their cars which is an excellent resource for valuing used cars.
  • Sometimes you find more negotiation room when dealing with a private owner.

Based on your priorities you can choose any option.

Price the Car:

Now you need to price the car that you want to buy. Look up the car models in a guide. Assess the car value. You can use an online guide to assess the value by looking at mileage, model and options.

How to Inspect a Used Car?

Know how to spot problems and it can save you from costly repairs when buying a used car. If it is possible take it to a mechanic. Do inspection in broad daylight. It is important as some lights can hide the signs of a car.

  • Look for scratches, dents and rust on body panels. Examine lines and fenders of the fenders and doors. Make it sure that paint color and finish is same on everybody panel.  You can use a magnet if you think that a dent is filled with body filler. Magnets will not patch up with an area filled with body filler.
  • You also need to take a look at rust because it can cause problems for you. Check the outer body for blistered paint and rust. Look into wheel wells for the rust.
  • Look at vehicle glass and make it sure that there are no scratches. Especially look at the cracks at windshield as these can be costly.
  • You need to take a look at the engine. Inspect it for any leaks and corrosion.
  • Look for welding and scratch marks.
  • Lights are important part of the car that you need to take a look at. Check headlights and brake lights, but do not forget interior lights.
  • Check wear of seats and the floors. Look for the stains on these and make it sure that dealer has taken care of it. Take a careful look at the trunk of the car for any signs of wear, leaks or rust.
  • Check AC of the car to make sure it is working properly.
  • When driving a car at high speed test the brakes by pressing them hard.  It is best to know if they will be good in an emergency.

Test Drive the Car

You need to inspect the car by taking a test drive as it will make it easier for you to decide quality and condition of the car. Run the car for at least an hour and pay attention to any weird sounds. These may help you to identify serious problems in the car.

Negotiate and Close the Deal

Now is the time to negotiate about the price of car. It is a stage many fear. However, it should not be difficult for you if you have done proper research about the car and its price. You can make the comparison of the car price with the average market price.

Start with a price lower than your budget. Try to reach at a price that comes within your budget and close the deal.

Make it sure that paperwork is completed and you are the legal owner of car. It is necessary to avoid any serious problems in the future. 

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