Tips for Purchasing a Used Car

Before hitting the used car lots, take a look at these tips to help you find a reliable vehicle.

  • Use a checklist to examine the car. There are a lot of different checklists that can be found online. Be sure to print one off that guides you through a careful examination of the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
  • Take it for a test drive. Don’t ever buy a car without driving it first. Once you have it out on the road, test it out in different road conditions. Hills, highways, and cities should give you a good feel of how a car that interests you will drive.
  • Get the maintenance records and history from the seller. The way a car has been cared for in the past is a good indicator of how it will perform in the future. If a car hasn’t been properly maintained, it’s might be a good idea to pass on it.
  • Take it to a mechanic. Once you have a particular car in mind, have it inspected by an experienced mechanic. They can look under the hood and ensure that everything is working as it should.
  • Know what different cars are worth. Using the Kelley Blue Book or another national estimator, plug in a car’s information to find out what it’s worth. Once you know it’s value, you can better negotiate a price.
  • Check the vehicle’s title. If a car has a rebuilt, rebranded, or salvaged title, it means that it has been in an accident that required a serious rebuild in order to restore its functionality.
  • Figure out how you’ll be paying for your new car. When purchasing a new car, you can either pay for it in full or finance it. If you don’t have the money in your account to pay for it all at once, it’s a good idea to know your financing options beforehand. Different banks and credit unions offer different interest rates for auto loans. Find the one that you best qualify for.
  • Know your budget. If you are financing your new auto, it’s important that you know what your budget is before test-driving a car. Meet with different loan officers to find out how much you can afford. Take into consideration that you need to budget for maintenance and fuel each month as well.
  • Shop at trustworthy locations. To get the best deal possible, make sure that you are only shopping at used car lots with good reputations. Then you’ll know that you aren’t being jerked around.

Purchasing pre-owned cars Anchorage, Alaska, is a process. It begins well before you hit the used car lot. Doing your research beforehand makes it easier for you to narrow down what you want in your next car and get the ball rolling. Taking the time to plan and research your next car ensures that you walk away with the car of your dreams and not a dud that will die half a mile down the road.

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