There are many reasons why buying a used car may be superior to purchasing a brand-new vehicle. For one thing, you can still find an excellent quality car with much lower upfront costs. Also, you’ll likely lose less money if you decide to sell the car, as used cars do not depreciate the way that new cars do.
When you go to buy a used car, it’s not always obvious where you should start. We’ve provided a used car checklist for you to follow to assist in your purchase. We hope to see you soon!
1. Create a Budget
Your car payment should not be so substantial that you can’t afford to pay it every month. A good rule of thumb is that it should be no more than 20 percent of your income after taxes. This varies for everyone, so you may want to spend even less if you have an especially tight budget. Always have an emergency fund set aside just in case you need to pay for unscheduled maintenance.
2. Make a List of Cars that Fit Your Budget
Consider more than one brand of car if you’re looking to save money. Put together a list of at least three cars that would fulfill your needs and fit within your budget. If possible, try to find a car that’s a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) model, as the long-term warranties on these vehicles are backed by both the dealership and the car maker. These CPO cars may cost more than, say, buying a used car from a private party, but the advantages of the warranty and the relatively short time they’ve been driven make them excellent options.
3. Check the History Report
You need a vehicle history report to confirm the car you’re buying has a good record. The earlier you know about a bad history, the better.
4. Take a Test Drive
You can’t tell how you’re going to like driving a certain car if you never get behind the wheel of one. One of the top things on your used car buying checklist should be driving the car yourself, as you’ll be able to tell if it’s the right one for you. Pay attention to your own comfort level within the car, such as legroom and headroom, and see that everything is working correctly. If the check engine light is on, have that issue addressed before you buy it.
5. Have the Car Inspected by a Professional
Another important item on your used car buying checklist is having it inspected by a professional. A mechanic will be able to find issues you might not be able to, and spending a little bit of money now—especially if you know you already like the car and want to buy it—will be worth it in the long run.
If you’re in the market to buy a used car near East Providence, Rhode Island, be sure to give us a call or contact us online at Stateline Nissan today!