Smart Shopping for Used Cars

Buying a used car can be daunting if you haven’t purchased one before. There are always concerns about the condition of the vehicle, but if you work closely with a reputable dealer specializing in used cars, you can get a dependable vehicle for a great price. Asking the right questions and doing some research is part of the process.

Find a Dependable Make and Model

Kelley Blue Books and online consumer groups can help you find makes and models that are rated well for reliability and low repair costs. If a car doesn’t have a good resale value, there may be a reason. Don’t forget to check gas mileage and maintenance costs as well.

Test Drive Used Cars

Never purchase any vehicles without taking them out for a test drive. Listen to the engine, pay attention to any knocking or pinging and get a feel for how smooth the ride is. When you test drive, make sure you take the vehicle on local roads as well as the highway. Trying a used vehicle under a variety of condition will help you narrow down your options to cars that you’re truly comfortable driving.

Get a Vehicle History Report

Request a vehicle history report from one of several online services. You’ll need the vehicle identification number (VIN number), which any auto dealership can provide you. You can also see it in the lower corner of the driver’s side window when you’re looking at it from outside. When you check the report, look for accidents, water damage and other issues that could affect the car’s performance.

Consider Other Costs

Insurance, monthly maintenance and fuel economy all figure into the actual cost of a car, not just the sticker price. Get insurance quotes, look into maintenance costs and check the mileage estimates. All of these will impact the car’s actual cost.

Proper research and working with a trusted automobile dealership will guarantee you the best price for your next used car.

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