With the rise in inflation, buying a used car is one of the best solutions to your transportation problems. Automobiles are one of the most expensive things you can buy. And with wages that are not increasing in line with inflation, buying a brand-new car is a financial burden you may not be able to handle.
If you required personal transportation and luck was on your side, you would have just visited the Sloto Cash website, played a few games, and won more than enough money to buy your dream car. However, we do not live in a fantasy world where Sloto Cash’s fun games can fulfill our desires.
Thus, your best bet is to look for used cars. But just because a vehicle is “used” does not necessarily mean it will be good for nothing. You can get yourself “new” used cars; you just need to know the right way. And this is where we come to help.
Today, we will tell you about 13 amazing car shopping tips to help you save money when buying a used car in 2024.
How Do You Buy A Used Car In 2024?
Buying a used car is a serious event. You can not jump into the arena without getting prepared.
It does not matter whether you are buying a used car from a dealership or a private seller; you need to be fully prepared for any unforeseen events.
Going unprepared to buy a car can do you more harm than you can imagine. Thus, to ensure you are not ripped off by the seller and get exactly what you desire, we recommend you follow the tips below.
1. Set Up A Budget
The first thing you need to do is set up a buying budget. No one knows your finances better than you. So, before you start thinking you want a fun-to-drive car or a car with good gas mileage. Please take this step seriously. You do not want to overspend on buying a used car and then get burdened with the financial strain.
So, consider your monthly salary and non-negotiable monthly expenses like rent, mortgage payments, insurance, utility bills, and others. After checking out all the non-negotiable expenses, see how much money you are left with every month and how much (of that remaining money) you can afford to spend on a car purchase.
Going through your daily expenses in detail will tell you how much you can spend on buying a used car. This will also tell you if you can buy a recent used car or an older one.
2. Be Clear With Your Needs And Wants
What you want and need in an automobile are two different things. Buying a sports car is a great choice, but if you have a kid on the way in a couple of months, a sports car is probably not a good investment. Rather, an SUV or minivan would be a better fit.
However, if you are single or just you and your partner with no talks of kids shortly, you can go for a sports car in a jiffy. The point here is that what you desire or want in a vehicle might not always be what you need.
If you are financially tight, buying a premium car, which is what you want, is not what you need. Your need will be to get a ride that serves the main purpose of transportation without thinking about luxury.
As a buyer, you can desire a luxurious car from top European car brands like BMW, Ferrari, Audi, Mercedes, and others. But it will not be considered something you need if you cannot afford it. Thus, always make sure your wants align with your needs.
3. Decide On The Type Of Car
Gone are the days when there was only one type of car in the world. Today, some vehicles are not only restricted to gasoline power. Today, you can find vehicles running on electricity, gasoline, and both. And you need to decide which type of car you want.
The type of car you choose will decide the money you need to spend. Currently, EVs are in high demand, making them pricey compared to the others. If you want to be completely eco-friendly when buying a used car and can afford to splurge, an electric vehicle is for you.
However, if you are not much for the environment, a gasoline ride is for you. And if you want the best of both worlds, a hybrid car is the best choice.
4. Look Up Bluebook And Edmund
To know which vehicles are circulating in the American used car market and their current market price, you should look to popular car experts like Bluebook and Edmund. These websites will tell you the current market price for a particular used car model.
It does not matter if you do not buy from them; these websites give you a good idea of current market trends so that no dealership or private seller can rip you off. Researching the vehicle you wish to buy before going out is always better.
5. Where To Buy From?- Dealership Or Private Seller
The next thing you need to decide on is whether should i buy a used car from a dealership or a private seller. After you have confirmed the market price for a car you are interested in, you need to choose your seller.
You can either go to a local car dealership dealing in used cars or choose a private seller online. Car dealerships are for you if you are not worried about paperwork and love to do things systematically. However, if you dread paperwork and are okay with taking the risk of a private seller, go for the latter.
6. Apply For A Used Car Loan
If you can not buy a used car upfront, you should apply for a car loan before you begin your car purchasing. Having a car loan handy will save you a lot of time and money.
Sure, many dealerships offer their clients car loans, but they generally come with high rates. You can apply for a used car loan online, from a bank, or opt for the loan via a car dealership.
7. Do Not Forget Car Insurance
You sure are buying a used car, but that does not mean you ignore the importance of car insurance. Car insurance will come in handy if you are in an accident. Getting car insurance for a used car is easy. Several online and offline facilities can provide you with good car insurance within your budget.
If you have ever contemplated what to avoid when buying a used car, car insurance is not one of the things. Having car insurance in hand increases your chances of getting a great deal on your car purchase.
8. Paperwork For Buying A Used Car
Just because you are buying a used car does not mean you will not require any authentic paperwork. You will need to fill out some paperwork for buying a used car from a private seller or a dealership.
You need to provide your identity card, driver’s license, residential proof, proof of car loan (if you have taken out one to buy this car), car insurance proof, and photographs.
The proper and well-detailed your paperwork is, the more you will save on your purchase. Sellers are always hesitant to sell cars to people with incomplete paperwork. And even if they do sell, they charge you higher than others.
9. Ask For The History Of The Car
Once you have decided on the car model you want to buy, the place from where you will buy it, and all your documents are in order, ask the seller for the history of the car. If the vehicle is sold legally, the seller will provide you with all the necessary documents related to the car’s history.
This will let you know if that particular vehicle was in an accident, if any part has been changed, and more. A seller should be able to provide it no matter what; if not, steer clear from buying it.
If you still desire the ride, you can negotiate the price again in compensation, as the seller cannot provide you with the necessary data. But honestly, we do not recommend buying a ride whose history you do not know.
10. Ask For The Car Title
If you are buying a used car, ask for the car title. It is the document that shows the ownership of the ride. This document is a must.
If the seller cannot provide you with a car title or the car title they offer has a different name, there is a scam written all over it. Walk away from there as soon as possible. Never buy a vehicle for which you can not get the legal car title.
11. Test Drive Is A Must
Before you finalize your car deal, ask for a test drive. Test driving a car is a must because it lets you know if a vehicle is for you. You can easily deduce if it is a vehicle you would like to drive daily. So, ask for a test drive. If a seller denies a test drive, walk away.
12. Have A Mechanic Inspect The Ride
Buying a used car is filled with risks. Thus, you need to be fully sure before buying. When buying a used car from a dealer or private seller, having a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle comes under your rights as a buyer. A good seller will never say no to your desire to have a professional of your trust inspect the car.
The inspection from your person of trust will let you know if anything is wrong with the vehicle. This way, you can be truly sure if you should make the purchase. If a seller denies inspection, it means there is something wrong with the ride, and you should not buy it.
13. Buy The Car And Drive Away
After completing every step mentioned above, you can find a vehicle and seller you are completely satisfied with; it is time to make the purchase and drive away.
You will get your ride immediately if you buy from a private seller. But if you are buying from a dealership, it will be a few days before you can take your ride home.
Top FAQs About How To Buy A Used Car From Private Seller
Can I negotiate when purchasing a used car?
YES. Negotiation is a basic right of a buyer, whether buying a brand-new or a used car.
You should never settle down for the first quote offered by the seller. Whether you purchase your car from a dealership or a private seller does not matter.
Always negotiate the price to settle on an amount acceptable to both parties. Until you ask, the answer is always no. So, take the chance and negotiate the price, and you might be surprised to learn how well you did.
Is professional inspection a must?
Absolutely. A pre-owned vehicle can never be as strong and problem-free as a brand-new car.
Thus, you must have a professional mechanic of your trust inspect the vehicle before you make the final purchase.
Doing this will let you know all the pros and cons of the vehicle and help you decide if you should make the purchase.
How many miles is too many for a used automobile?
Purchasing a used car comes with some limits, including the number of miles it has driven.
Never go for a used car driven more than 100,000 miles. This is generally considered as the cut-off point for used vehicles.
It is because the older the vehicle, whose mileage exceeds 100,000 miles, requires more frequent maintenance, which gets quite expensive.
What type of used car is considered best for buying?
A used car between two to five years old is a great one to buy. Going for a car older than five has a high chance of traveling around 100,000 miles.
Also, the more years the ride has as its model years, the more chances you have to get advanced tech & safety features.
Furthermore, a vehicle that is only five years old still holds some of its value and is in good condition. In contrast, an older car has gone through the steepest part of its depreciation curve and is likely to be in bad condition.
You can get an older ride for a cheaper price, but in the long run, it will turn out to be more expensive to keep compared to a ride that is two to five years old.
What is the best time to buy a used car?
Whether you are considering purchasing a used or brand-new car, the ideal times to buy them are the same.
The end of the year, the end of the month, the beginning of the year, the beginning of the week, and popular holidays are all ideal times to make your way towards car dealerships.
How to buy a used car from a private seller?
If you are going for a private seller to buy your used car, call them and arrange a meeting. Ask them for all the car-related documents like car title, car history, names of previous owners (if any), and others.
Make sure you get every document we have mentioned above. Take an in-person look at the vehicle and have a professional inspect it.
Ask for a test drive and drive the vehicle for an adequate amount of time to ensure the vehicle is right for you. Lastly, negotiate based on the condition of the ride. Do not agree to pay more than your budget.
Buying a used car at an acceptable price is an art you can master if you follow our 13 tips mentioned above. Dealerships always want to eliminate used cars to make room for brand-new ones.
Meanwhile, private sellers simply want to get their hands off a ride that is consuming their money on maintenance. 2024 will be a year of used cars, and you will likely get good options at good prices.