Buying a quality used car is an excellent way to save money while still getting the ride you need for work, school and home. There are a couple of different ways to buy a used vehicle: going through a dealer or finding a private seller. Each method will have additional regulations and requirements depending on where you live, but you will want to follow the same steps for both.
Get an Inspection
A pre purchase vehicle inspection can be required for used car sales in different states, regardless of where you are purchasing the car. It is a good idea to ask for an inspection irrespective of your state’s regulations, or bring a mechanic with you to look over the vehicle. These inspections will help you understand what you are getting into with the car and hopefully keep you from getting a lemon.
If you do not need an inspection and do not want to pay for one, you will want to inspect the vehicle yourself. Sit in the car, take it for a test drive, and play with all the buttons for a good start in getting to know the car. You will also want to inspect the vehicle for repaired damage, especially around the bumpers, and check for leaks.
Look Up the Title and VIN
Before you sign any paperwork, it is essential to look up the title history and VIN of the vehicle. These will be able to tell you if the car is listed as stolen anywhere, has been totaled by an insurance company, and what accidents the vehicle has been involved in. Most dealerships will have these reports ready for you, but you may need to request the information to conduct them on your own if you go through a private seller.
Research the Seller and Regulations
When buying a used car, research is your friend. This research is more accessible as more entities build online tools such as rating searches through the Better Business Bureau, insurance apps with quote calculators, and third-party review sites. Companies make the most of these with South Florida SEO resources, so they pop up on the first page of search results. The first thing you want to research is the seller. Dealerships will have a BBB rating and reviews and recommendations on third-party sites, but private sellers will be more challenging to research. Each state will have different laws and regulations covering private used car sales, so researching what those are will likely point you towards state-specific tools and resources for getting the best deal possible.
Buying a quality used car can provide many benefits, such as less overall cost and more freedom of movement. To ensure that you are getting the best deal on the right vehicle, you will want to do your research into the vehicle, seller and state regulations. This information gathering can be done largely by spending time with online tools such as dealership reviews and online VIN searches. Still, you will want to physically inspect the car and have your mechanic look over it before signing the paperwork.