Buying a used car can be a stressful time. Knowing a bit more about do’s and don’ts may help relieve some of that stress. First, what is your budget? That can either be the amount you have saved up or it can be the amount you may have to borrow.

Knowing what the payments will be before you shop will be helpful so contact your preferred lender and inquire as to their interest rate and the payments for various dollar amounts so that you know ahead of time what dollar range you will be comfortable with. Then, most importantly, stay in that dollar range so that you do not find something that you fall in love with and purchase only to be financially strapped for the next several years with payments higher than you anticipated.

Do some research for various makes and models for the style and features you like that are in your price range before you go shopping. A good resource for this is kbb.com where you can look up prices based on buying from used car dealers or private parties and it also can show vehicle types you are looking for that are on sale and listed there.

Most importantly of all, NEVER, EVER buy a used car without having a service professional inspect it for you first. If the seller will not allow you to do so, walk away, there is a reason. Obviously, we recommend Accurate Automotive here in Yuma for that inspection but get it done at a professional repair facility of your choice before you buy. I cannot tell you how many times we have had to break the bad news to people we care about that their “good deal” they bought and brought to us to check out after the fact has been a terrible mistake. It happens all too often and breaks our hearts every time.

Additionally, if there are maintenance needs that are identified during the inspection, you now have a bargaining chip to go back to the seller and negotiate a better price and then can get the needed maintenance done after the purchase to ensure safe and reliable operation of your new purchase.

Good luck and happy car hunting!

Want more great advice on saving money on car repairs? Order Russell McCloud’s book Knowledge is Power by clicking here

Posted in Car Advice