If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of new models available. But when you’re interested in buying used, there are a few steps that will help navigate your way to affordable and reliable transportation.
Find out what you can afford
Before you begin looking at used cars, be sure you have a realistic idea of how much money you want to spend. This price will most likely be based on the price of a new car, so don’t fall for salespeople who are trying to convince you that their used cars in chicago are pricier than they really are.
Know where to start looking
There are plenty of places to begin your search for a used car, such as craigslist.org or local newspapers. But when you start looking for cars, it’s also important to ask yourself what type of vehicle you’re interested in purchasing and what kind of condition it’s in. For example, if you’re searching for a very inexpensive used car, you may have more success buying a car that’s less than eight years old.
Examine the vehicle’s “book value.”
In order to get the most bang for your used car buck, it’s best to look at cars in your price range that are in good condition, but still make sense as a used vehicle. You can find the book value of a used car on Kelly Blue Book’s website, or you can check with your local dealer.
Determining “fair” condition
When you’re in the market for a used car, it’s a good idea to make sure it falls into what is considered “fair” condition. This means that the vehicle should be reliable and have minimal mechanical issues. If possible, test drive the car and look at it carefully before making an offer to purchase it.
Negotiating the purchase of a used car
When you’ve found a car that’s in good condition, has low mileage and has a fair price, be sure to request any documentation and inspection paperwork from the seller. There are also loan programs available from banks that might help you afford the purchase of your used vehicle.