Buying a used car is not a bad idea. You cannot force yourself to buy a new car yet your budget does not allow that. You can still get an excellent deal as long as you take the right step while buying a used car.

However, this experience can be stressful especially if you are doing it for the first time. The market has several options but sales persons make everything to become easy. Several factors can weigh you down as you struggle to make the best choice.

These tips will help you to get the best deals when buying a used car. Keep on reading this guide to learn about some of the things to consider when buying a used car.

1. Try to Plan Your Cash

Whether you have bad or good credit, it is better to pay off a second hand car in cash. Financing a car can be tempting but the financing options may be unrealistic especially if the car is over four years old.

If you are unable to pay the whole amount once, try and pay a substantial amount as the down payment. It will help you to save a lot of money in the long run. It will also remove the stress of paying huge installments on a monthly basis.  

2. Check the History Report of the Vehicle

If you are buying a used car from a dealer, he should have prepared the vehicle history report for the interested customers. If the seller is not willing to give you this report, it clearly informs you to walk away from that deal.

It is good to buy a car that does not have any accident history. The worst is the one that damages the frame because cars don’t recover fully. If you purchase from a private seller and the report states that it has a lien on it, look elsewhere because the seller doesn’t have the right to sell the car and has no full ownership to it.

3. Do Not Mention Your Trade-In Upfront

Don’t mention that you are planning to trade-in your vehicle until you are over with the negotiation. A dealer may be permitted to negotiate a car up to $20,000 but this will change once you state that you have a trade.

If you want to win, you have to make sure that you are playing your cards very well. One secret is to withhold some information up to the right time. It will help you to get the best deals when buying used cars in sacramento.

4. Understand Your Budget

When you go to a dealer, you should have a set price at the back of your mind. Sit down and add up what you can exactly afford to the very most. If you intent to pay in cash, you should know the amount you are willing to spend.

If you are financing the car, you need to have an affordable monthly installment. Even though this can be stressful, it is good to do it before you fall in love with car. You don’t want to get a car that is out of your price range.

Besides, you don’t want the sales person to influence your decision for him to make a sale. It is good to have a set budget so that you don’t go beyond your plans.

5. Always Take the Car for a Drive Test

When buying a car, it can be tempting to sign the papers and drive away. It is advisable to take the automotive for a test drive. It will help you to get a feel for the vehicle before making a purchase. Make sure you listen to any suspicious noises in the car and don’t take anything for granted.

If you hear an extraordinary thing, don’t continue with the purchase process. If your heart is fully set on it, request a mechanic to check on it. However, it is better to look somewhere else. Even if it is your dream car, you should not meet expensive costs in terms of repairs.

6. Do Your Research

Most people escape this step when buying used cars. However, this is the most important step when making a decision. The internet is a great tool and it can either make or break your sale.

The internet has a lot of information about the brand of every car. You will know the common issues that are reported by most of the people who have owned this car in the past. Look at the average cost of repairs and fuel economy of the car.

Here’s How You Can Afford a Used Luxury Car

This information will help you to narrow down your list. Car selling websites will also tell you the amount you expect a dealer to charge you while negotiating for a deal.

7. Forget The Add-ons

Having a backup camera, moon roof, and a heated seated is can feel so nice. However, these additional features can add up so much. When you want a car that has so many extras, the price will tremendously skyrocket.

You may pay thousands for something that would cost you a few hundred dollars to install with a private mechanic shop. If you are financing the car, there is interest on the purchase meaning that the amount you pay for these extras will skyrocket. Ask yourself whether there add-ons are really worth your purchase.

8. Check for Unreported Damage and Rust

The car can have a nice look from far but you need to thoroughly examine the frame of a used car. People carry out several repairs to fix damages on accident cars. However, the accident may not be used in the vehicle report.

These imperfections are evident in the paint but you need a keen eye to spot them. If you are buying a truck, don’t forget to examine the undercarriage. Most of the frames of these trucks tend to rust away. If there is so much dust under the vehicle, it is better to go for a different option.

Bonus Learn to Negotiate

When buying a used car, it can be a bit out of the price range and hence you require a solid negotiation tactic. Sales person receive payment on commission and strive the make as much as they can as commission.

You should not allow them make you buy a car out of budget. You always need to have the ultimate power in the bargain as a customer. Therefore, don’t be so quick to give in because the seller may also be desperate to dispose of the car for personal reasons. It does not harm to walk away and look for a better deal.


These tips come in handy when buying a used car. Pay close attention to all of them and you will not fail to get the best deal in the market. The most important thing here is to get the value for your money.