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Step 1: Calculate how much you can spend
Calculate how much you can spend – whether in cash or monthly loan repayments.
Do not forget the costs of owning a car, such as insurance and maintenance.
Step 2: Research Models
Research the models you are considering. Car information websites will help you compare both the performance and the long-term reliability of several cars.
Step 3: Locate the car
Look for a car you want to check. Search for lots of used cars, classified ads, car dealers selling used cars and special publications for used vehicles and websites.
Step 4: Ask the seller about the condition
Ask the seller about the general condition of the car, including mileage, additional features, and whether service records are available.
If you are buying an individual's car, ask if he or she is the original owner and the reason to sell the car.
Step 5: Inspect and test the unit
Inspect the car and try it. You want to make sure it works well, runs smoothly, and feels good.
Do not let the salesperson push you through the test drive.
Step 6: Find out if the warranty is included
Find out if the car comes with a warranty.
If a warranty is not included, have a mechanic inspect the car for you. Let the seller know that the sale is contingent on a professional inspection.
Step 7: Get Vehicle History Report
Get a vehicle history report from one of the companies that sell them online. See if the vehicle has been damaged in an accident or flood – and whether the odometer may have been rolled back.
Step 8: Find out
Find out how much the car is worth by referring to used car guides online or by visiting the library.
Step 9: Negotiate
Negotiate. Using the market value of the car as a guide, bid on the lower end. Do not be afraid to walk away.
If you are trading in your car or have a dealership arrange the financing, negotiate the price of the car before discussing the exchange value and financing to ensure you get the best deal.
Step 10: Close the deal
Close the deal. If you are buying from a private seller, make sure you get the title. Register your new vehicle with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you are buying from a dealership, they will handle most of the paperwork for you. Just be sure to read all the contracts or paperwork carefully.
Step 11: Travel home
Drive home in your new and elegant ride.
Did you know?
Did you know? On average, new cars lose between 15% and 30% of their value at the time they are expelled from the dealership.
Video credits to Howcast YouTube channel