If you’re not a car person, buying a used car can be nerve-wracking. What if it breaks down as soon as you drive it off? What if you pay way more than you need to? This guide will answer these questions and more. Here are five tips for buying a used car.

1. Secure a loan before you buy

If you are planning to buy a used car with a loan, make sure you secure the loan before you buy. This will give you the bargaining power when you’re talking to the dealer (or private owner) because you can drive away with the car that day. It also stops the dealer from talking you into a finance scheme for the car. If the dealership offers finance, they will try to get you to buy a more expensive car. Whereas if you already have a preapproved loan, you walk in with a set budget.

2. Know how to ask the right questions

Used car dealers can tell when someone doesn’t know what they’re doing. It’s completely different from buying anew car. Some of them will use this to their advantage and make you pay over the odds for a used car. That’s why you need to appear clued up. Ask the following questions (and make sure you understand the answers):

● How was the car maintained?
● Are service records available?
● Has it been in any accidents?
● What is the ownership history?
● Why are you selling the car?
● How did you arrive at this price?
● Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?

car insurance

3. Consider cars around the country

You don’t necessarily have to buy a car locally to get the best deal. Car prices vary from state to state, so it’s worth looking at used cars around the country. Then, you can collect the car yourself or use an auto transport company like Guardian Auto Transport to move it to your home. This might seem like it would be more expensive, but you’d be surprised at how affordable it is. Plus, it gives you access to a much bigger selection of cars in a hassle-free way.

4. Know how much it should cost

For used car buyers, the price is one of the biggest considerations. That’s why you need to do some research before you walk into a dealership (or purchase from a private owner). Visit a used car comparison site online and make a note of the prices of similar cars to the one you’re looking at. Also, note down the mileage, optional extras, and anything else that could affect the price. It’s also a good idea to go into the negotiation with a target price in mind, as well as a strict budget limit.

5. Don’t buy any add-ons

Dealerships make their money on the add-ons they offer after a sale. From extended warranties to paint protection plans, you will be offered all sorts of pay-monthly schemes. It’s best to avoid these add-ons and get any insurance and breakdown cover you need separately. This will allow you to compare prices and get a better deal.

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