October 19th, 2017 by

Buying a used car can help you save a bundle and avoid the steep depreciation that new cars often undergo the minute they hit the road. However, it can become a costly nightmare if you end up getting the wrong car. Here are a few useful tips for buying a good pre-owned car.

First, you need to set a clear budget. Besides the cost of the car, you should also consider expenses such as maintenance, insurance, and taxes. Such expenses normally amount to about 10 percent of the price of the car. For example, if the car you plan to buy costs $10,000, you’ll need to have about $11,000.

Also, you have to decide how you’re going to pay for it. There are usually only two ways to buy a car: paying cash or taking out an auto loan. If you need a loan, calculate how much you can pay each month so that you’ll not get into financial trouble. It’s also a good idea to get a pre-approved car loan, because it simplifies the buying process and gives you more negotiation power.

When you’re deciding on a car model, ask yourself what’s the right car for you. If you need to travel a lot, you’ll want a car that is reliable, comfortable, and fuel-efficient. You can narrow down your options with other needs and preferences such as performance, features, safety, cargo space, and appearance. Next, create a list of three target car models that best suit your needs and do more in-depth research on them. Check their market values based on year, mileage, and condition.

After selecting a few cars, contact the owners and ask them about their cars’ histories, service records, and other information that’s not available in the ads. If you are happy with the information, schedule a time to see and test the car. When doing a test drive, choose a route with different road conditions, including hills, rough roads, bumps, curves, and highways, to get a better idea of the car’s performance and condition. Additionally, bring a trusted mechanic to inspect the car.

After you’ve decided to buy a certain car, it’s time to negotiate the price. If you’ve done enough research, you should roughly know how much the car is worth. Once you and the seller have decided on an agreeable price, you can go ahead and sign the contract. Make sure you review it carefully before signing.

A pre-owned car is a significant investment. As such, you have to make sure that you get your money’s worth. Patrick Mini always offers a wide range of used cars online and on our lot. Find your perfect used vehicle with us today!