Ten Easy Rules for Buying a Used Car

Buying a car can be an incredibly expensive time of your life. Most people end up paying for their car over several years if they buy new, which is why it’s important to plan carefully before you put your money down. However, many people avoid paying for a new car because they understand how expensive it can be. In fact, when you buy a new car, it quickly drops in value by up to 30% and if you plan to trade it in or resell it, it’s going to be worth a lot less than what you paid.

This is why many people go for the economical route of buying a pre-owned car. However, there are many considerations that need to be kept in mind before you decide to purchase a used car. So, we at G&E Motors have put together ten rules to help you out when buying a used car.

Rule #1 – Do Your Research
Before you head out to the local dealership and pick a random vehicle, make sure you do your research. Look at websites to see what the most popular vehicles currently are. Be sure to pick something that fits within both your price range and your needs. In addition, keep an eye on market trends. There will be times when certain makes or models of car will drop sharply in price because a new version is being released, and that’s a very good time to snap up a fantastic deal on an older model.

Rule #2 – Pick A Car Based on Your Needs
Write a list of needs and expectations. For example, if you’re a single professional driving in the city, then you’re going to need a small car that is fuel efficient enough so you can use it to commute to and from work. If you have a family that you plan to transport around, then maybe a minivan or SUV, with plenty of seating and space in the back to carry things, would be a better choice. Keep a list and try not to make any compromises. Look for a vehicle that fits the bill and you’ll be far happier than buying a car on impulse.

Rule #3 – Consider the Financial Obligations Involved
Next, consider your financial situation. Can you really afford a car now, even if it’s a used one? Remember that you may need to pay interest over time and you’ll need to pay for both insurance and fuel. If you don’t think you can pay for a vehicle, then it might be better to stick to public transportation and wait until your financial situation improves.

Rule #4 – Find Various Dealerships in Your Area
Dealerships are all over the place, so make sure you do a bit of research and look up what dealerships have the type of vehicle you’re most interested in. Do some on-line browsing and look at reviews for each dealership, and phone each place up to ask about their cars. Don’t rush to visit just a single dealership, even if you think you can snag a deal.

Rule #5 – Inspect the Car Thoroughly
Rule #1 was to do your research. If you followed it, then you should have a good understanding of the car’s features and options. Inspect the car thoroughly to make sure it meets your needs. Check for the features that are on your “must have” list, and make sure you look at the overall condition of the vehicle, such as the exterior, the interior, and the tires.

Rule #6 – Don’t Neglect the Test Drive
Ask to test drive the car before you consider putting in an offer. Most dealerships will be more than happy to let you drive it around a bit. You should not consider buy a car from any that don’t. During the test drive, make sure you test all the features to ensure that the car is perfect for your needs. If there’s even a small thing that you’re not sure of, or that doesn’t feel right about the vehicle, don’t be afraid to ask the dealership about it.

Rule #7 – Getting the Right Price
Used car dealerships might reduce the price if you point out flaws in the car, or if you are willing to compromise even if it doesn’t quite meet all your needs. If you are prepared to buy the car at a reduced price with some condition or feature issues, certainly discuss it with the salesman. You may be pleasantly surprised with the result.

Rule #8 – Extras to Be Prepared For
If the car needs fixing up or repairs, that the dealer can’t do, add these costs to the price of the vehicle. Getting a used vehicle fixed up can take more money than you can afford, so make sure you get a quote from your local mechanic before you finalize the deal. And keep in mind that older vehicles may need more frequent repairs and maintenance because some parts might be worn enough to need replacement sooner than you would like. Many dealerships offer extended warranties that can cover a variety of repair costs, which may be worth checking into.

Rule #9 – Car Insurance
Don’t forget about the cost of car insurance. Many car dealerships will offer some type of insurance, or they might even help you with it. Either way, make sure you don’t overlook the cost of car insurance. There are some things that could help reduce the cost, such as safety features on the car itself, and models that have a history of lower replacement costs for parts and repairs.

Rule #10 – Consider Your Future
Lastly, don’t forget to consider what you plan to do in the future. Are you going to get a car that you can use until you pass it on to your children, or do you just need something for the next few years before you may be ready for something new? It always helps to look at the future when it comes to your vehicles. If you think it’s likely that you’re going to replace the car in a few years, then you may want to consider getting one that already has quite a few miles on it. But if you want a long-term vehicle that you won’t replace for many years, then consider a newer model with better fuel economy and features, and with less miles on it.

Following these ten rules should help you get the vehicle that best matches your needs and financial status. And remember, G&E Motors is here to help you make that happen, with an extensive car and truck inventory, financing plans for every financial situation, and a friendly professional staff to help you find the right car, at an affordable price, with financing that fits your budget.