Ready To Buy A Used Car? Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes

buy a used car

Did you know that a brand new car can lose more than 10% of its value during the first month? During the first year, it will drop a total of over 20% and keep dropping by 10% each year.

That’s one of the reasons it makes sense to buy a used car. Read on for mistakes to avoid when buying a used car that you should be aware of before car shopping.

1. Failing to Line Up Financing Before Shopping

Many people choose to buy from a used car dealership. This is a great option for many people.

But, be aware that the financing you can get from a dealer can come with a large premium. There’s usually a higher interest rate. This is one of the used car dealer fees to avoid if you can. 

The best thing you can do is pay for your used car in cash. If you can’t, find a third-party car loan to avoid paying extra rates.

Another reason why you should get your financing straight first is that it helps you establish your budget. That makes searching for a car in your budget easier.

2. Not Shopping Local

It’s really not worth your gas, time and effort to shop for cars that are far away. There’s really no need to shop for cars from other states.

Look for local used cars so you can easily inspect, test drive and communicate with the seller.

3. Failing to Check the Car’s History

You’ve probably seen that commercial where a car is half underwater in a flood. The seller changes the description from “slight water damage” to “new upholstery!”

You don’t want to get tricked into buying a car that has big issues or has had a bad history.

Use the VIN and license plate number to find out if the car has been involved in collisions. You can also find out the service history and even how many owners the car has had.

Don’t take the seller’s word for it. Get the facts before buying used cars.

4. Paying the Sticker Price When You Buy a Used Car 

One of the most useful tips for buying a used car is to negotiate. Used cars have a considerable markup if you shop at a used car dealership.

Never pay the full price without negotiating for a better deal. If the dealership insists that this price is the lowest price you’ll ever see, take a step back.

If that statement is true, then why is the dealership so eager to sell the car for less? Be wary as you consider the car. Make sure you get a full history and carefully inspect the car.

5. Going Over Budget

Chances are you chose to buy a used car so that you can save money. So that means it’s important for you to stick to your budget. 

No matter how good a deal a car might be, if you can’t afford it, it’s not a good deal for you.

Be wise when you buying used cars and try to go under budget if you can. 

6. Not Doing Research First 

Buying a used car requires some research. Otherwise, you could be faced with some expensive repairs and ongoing issues.

Take some time to research the make and model and year for the car you’re interested in. See what other owners are saying. Talk to mechanics that work on these cars and get their input.

Plus, you can look at resources like Consumer Reports and the Long Term Quality Index. These will help you figure out which cars are worth it and which aren’t.

7. Not Getting the Deal in Writing

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying used cars is to fail to get the deal in writing.

This includes the price, the condition, and the car’s history. That way the dealership can’t later renege on your deal.

Final Word

There you have it. 7 mistakes to avoid that will help you buy a used car with confidence. 

Next, read more about why buying a used car is a smart move.