A Beginner’s Guide to Purchasing a Used Car

December 27th, 2017 443 Auto Sales
Buying a Used

For some people money isn’t an issue, but for most people, it is. That’s why, when buying a car, so many people decide to buy a used one. Doing so saves them money.

Prep Work

Before actually buying a used car, do some prep work. For starters, come up with a figure you can afford. Your budget will dictate, ultimately, what you buy. Even though you might want an expensive vehicle, you might only have the money for a less expensive one, and that’s okay. Rather than go to a car lot and emotionally fall in love with a vehicle that’s out of your price range, it’s better to look at your bank account(s) and current income. From there, you can figure out what you can afford. For instance, the general rule is don’t spend more than 20% of your monthly take-home pay on a monthly auto payment. Also, keep in mind the other bills you pay monthly, including rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, groceries, etc. Once you consider “the numbers” you can settle on a predefined price range you’re willing and able to pay for your used vehicle.

Calculate Expenses

As a used car or truck owner, you’ll have more expenses long after you’ve bought the vehicle. So, do keep these “extras” in mind with regards to your budget. Besides paying car insurance, there are taxes, fees, registrations, plates, gas, oil changes, and future repairs. All of these things can really add up quickly. So, if you plan on spending $10,000 on a vehicle, don’t forget to add on a couple thousand for the “privilege” of owning and using it.

Figure Out What’s a Necessity and What’s a Luxury

When figuring out what brand and model to buy, realize that some are cheaper than others. Perhaps they don’t have as many “bells and whistles.” That’s okay. If you have long commutes, fuel economy will matter to you. Or perhaps you’re all about safety, so those features matter more than looks and style. Come up with a short list of “needs” and find a vehicle that meets those needs.

Consider Your Bargaining Position

If you deal with a dealer, find out if they’ll take a trade-in car from you to offset the price of what you want to buy. Also, ask about how they’ll expect to be paid– all at once versus monthly payments, etc. Do they offer a warranty? Can they show you a printed vehicle report indicating the vehicle’s history?

Furthermore, some sellers offer “certified pre-owned” vehicles, whereas they’ve been so well checked that you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy it… compared to buying from a private seller who might not disclose problems with the car or truck that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Check out vehicles for sale at 443 Auto Sales at 2848 Blakeslee Blvd. in Lehighton, PA. For hours and a map, visit here.

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