Where are the best places to find reliable used cars?
Many people today are making the decision to buy used cars rather than new cars. Often, this decision stems from the desire to save money on the purchase of their vehicle. A car buyer can often save thousands of dollars off the price of a car by buying a model that is just a year or two old. Many such vehicles are available with low mileage and that have been well-maintained. Others want to find a truly affordable vehicle to purchase, and opting for an older model car with higher mileage but yet that still has been well-maintained is a great option to consider. Of course, when you buy a used vehicle, you do want to ensure that you are spending your money wisely and purchasing a reliable vehicle. So just where can you look to find such a vehicle?
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Used Car Dealerships
Many used car dealerships do a thorough review of the cars they have on their lot before offering them for sale. When you visit such a used car lot, you do want to ask about what kind of inspection the dealer’s own mechanics put their vehicles through. If the salesman provides you with vague answers, you should be weary about purchasing a car from that dealer. However, if the salesman provides you with detailed list of mechanical and structural components that are checked on each car, you may find greater security in purchasing a vehicle from that company. Some used car dealers even offer a limited warranty on the vehicles they are selling.
Direct From the Seller
It may seem intimidating and even risky to buy a vehicle direct from the seller. However, many car owners today are making the decision to sell their vehicle themselves to get more money out of their sale. Using a dealership to buy and sell a used car is convenient, but the dealership will roll the fees of its service into the price of the car. Savvy sellers who have time to sell their vehicle themselves opt to avoid using a dealer. Many are selling perfectly well-maintained vehicles, and some have even kept records of maintenance done on the vehicle since they purchased it. By using a consumer website such as Craigslist, buyers and sellers can communicate efficiently without cost.
Your Own Inspection
Regardless of whether a used car dealer has done their own inspection and is even offering a warranty, or if a direct seller has all of the maintenance records on a vehicle, you do still want to do your own inspection of the vehicle. Here are some areas of the car to check out:
- Under the Hood: A quick visual inspection of the engine, even by an untrained eye, can determine if there are leaking fluids, dirty filters, loose belts, and more.
- Paint Job: A thorough review of the paint job can reveal signs of an accident the vehicle may have been involved in other damage. Look for uneven or splotchy paint as well as the presence of rust.
- Tires: The tread on tires can reveal a lot about vehicle maintenance. If tires have been kept properly filled with air and have been rotated regularly, tread wear will be even.
A Professional Inspection
Regardless of where you find a used car that catches your eye, you do want to have a professional mechanic take a closer look at the vehicle before you make an offer to buy it. A professional review of the car can help you to identify repair items that are needed on the car. This review can not only help you to determine if the vehicle is worthy of your purchase and in sound mechanical condition, but it can also be used as a negotiation tool. For instance, if your mechanic notes $800 in repair work needed on the car, this figure can be brought to the dealer or seller to support your offer of a lower sales price.
The fact is that you can find reliable used cars to purchase online through dealer websites, in online classified ads listing sellers’ direct ads, or even by driving from lot to lot. The only way to ensure that the vehicle you are interested in purchasing is to do a thorough initial inspection of the vehicle yourself and then have your mechanic review it thoroughly, too. One last thing to consider before you make your decision to purchase a vehicle is to hop online and do a quick comparison of insurance rates on the car. Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool below!