Things You Need to Do Before You Purchase a Used Car

Buying a used car is a good plan because you can save a good amount of money, but you do have to do your research to make certain you know exactly what you’re getting. While many used cars drive perfectly, some aren’t in the best shape. You want to be sure you’re at a reputable dealership and that you check the car over before you sign anything. But that’s actually the last part of the process. Your used-car buying experience should start much earlier than that.


Determine Your Budget

Know what you can afford before you visit any dealership, but remember that your budget needs to include more than just the price of the vehicle. You also need to remember to include enough money to cover any other costs that may come with your purchase. When you negotiate, make sure you stick firmly to your budget. It can be easy to find a car you love and let yourself get talked into spending more than you should.

Also be sure that you have your financing in place before you arrive at the dealership. If you already know how much you have to spend, whether it’s your own cash or a loan, you won’t be as tempted to purchase a car you know you can’t afford.

Determine What You Need

Know exactly what you need out of your next vehicle before you arrive, too, so you don’t spend time looking at used cars that don’t meet your needs. If you know exactly what you want, the seller won’t waste your time showing you other vehicles. The best dealerships that have used cars for sale in Canberra will be able to find you vehicles that perfectly match your needs quickly.

Test Drive the Car

Never skip the test drive. It’s the most important thing you can do when shopping for a used vehicle, or a new one, for that matter. You want to make certain you know exactly how the car drives. Listen for any strange noises at various speeds and pay attention to how the car feels. If it’s vibrating a lot, there may be an issue somewhere. Make sure you drive around enough that you’re satisfied that you know how the car drives.


Take the Car to a Trusted Mechanic

While taking a short test drive used to be enough for most people, today that’s no longer true. More and more buyers are asking if they can take their potential purchase for several hours or even a day. It’s no longer that odd of a request, so you can ask the dealer to allow you to take an extended test drive. During this time, you can certainly take the vehicle to a mechanic you trust and have him or her look it over. If anything is discovered, you’re always free to return the car and walk away. Never assume that a used car has problems, though. Many used cars run very well, but it’s always a good idea to have someone look it over before you sign the paperwork.