Buying a used car is a lengthy — and sometimes intimidating — process. That’s not supposed to scare you, it’s just the reality of the situation. First, you start with figuring out your budget. After that, you need to research the type of car you’d want to drive. Will a truck suit your needs, or do you need more passenger space? How about fuel-efficiency? Is hazardous weather a concern? If so, then you’ll end up needing to consider either 4WD or AWD. Then, you’ll have to research a dealership. Read some reviews, in order to find out which one is a good fit for you.
Finally, you get to go to the dealership and buy the car. It’s at this point you should have all your ducks in a row, that way you don’t make one of these three mistakes.
Blowing Off An Inspection
Unless you are mechanic who knows his stuff, then you should not (under any circumstances) blow off a used car inspection. You need to get a full used car inspection, not just a quick one. Why is this important? It’s not because you can’t trust the previous mechanic who inspected the car, but because you might not be sure if they missed something beforehand.
There are just so many unknowns when it comes to used cars. Anything can go wrong at any point in time, and it could even happen on a test drive. Meaning that the car could have sprung a fluid leak or have a transmission issue, and no one would even know because the car isn’t driven much aside from test drives.
Getting an independent inspection is not against any dealership laws, and will only cost you $100 or so. Make sure you get the used car your considering inspected before you even think about purchasing it.
Taking a Short Test Drive
Don’t take a short or quick test drive — take a long and thorough one. Sure, you’ll fall in love with the look of the car, and maybe the way the cabin is laid out. But, that all needs to take a backseat to how the car actually runs.
If you plan on owning this used car for the next few years, why would you only test drive it for four minutes? That’s not even enough time to let the engine warm up and reveal any previously unknown issues it might have.
Drive around the streets, neighborhood, highway, and really get a feel for the way it handles. Make sure there are no weird noises, smoke, or any other obvious issues with the vehicle.
Forgetting to Check Insurance Rates
If you decide to go from your old 2010 Chevrolet Malibu to a lightly used 2015 Dodge Charger, you’re going to experience a jump in insurance costs. Alternatively, you could go to an older model, and your insurance costs will go down.
Regardless, you’ll want to contact your insurance agency when you have an idea of the car you want, and determine your insurance rates beforehand. Who knows? You might even end up shopping around for another insurance rate.
Before you shop for a used car, keep these three mistakes in mind in order to avoid them…