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AutomotiveHow to Make Sure Your Next Used Car is a Bargain Not...

How to Make Sure Your Next Used Car is a Bargain Not a Mistake

Buying a used car is usually a cheaper way to get a nice car while saving money compared to buying one that’s brand-new. However, it does require doing your research to avoid getting stuck with a lemon. Follow these tips to make sure your next used car is a bargain not a mistake.

Check the Vehicle History

The first step is to get a vehicle history report from the RAC or similar. This will show you if the car has been in any accidents, how many owners it has had, if the mileage is accurate, and more. Be wary of any gaps in the history or inconsistencies. Also, walk away from any vehicle that has previously been written off, even if it looks fine. It could end up being an expensive investment.

Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Even if the history report is clean, it’s wise to pay for a pre-purchase inspection by an independent mechanic. They will put the car up on a lift and thoroughly inspect its mechanical condition and point out any issues or needed repairs. This inspection can identify problems the dealer didn’t disclose or the vehicle may have developed after the history report was run. It’s money well spent to avoid potentially expensive repairs later.

Take a Test Drive

Don’t even consider buying a used car without taking it for an extensive test drive of at least 20-30 minutes. Pay attention to any unusual noises, smells, or sensations. Make sure all features and controls work properly. See how the car performs at higher speeds, accelerating, braking, and on turns. A test drive can often reveal issues not apparent through a visual inspection.

Negotiate the Price

Once you’ve determined the car is solid mechanically, it’s time to negotiate. Research the prices forsimilar make/model/year/mileage used cars for sale Manchester online. Use this price range as leverage when negotiating. Point out any flaws uncovered in your inspection to ask for a lower price. Negotiating hundreds or even thousands off the asking price is common with used cars.

Get Everything in Writing

Once you’ve agreed on a price, get everything in writing before finalising the sale. Make sure the contract states the agreed-upon sale price and documents any verbal promises made by the dealer such as fixing issues found in your inspection. Never rely solely on a handshake deal. Protect yourself with a contract for sale signed by you and the dealer.

Check Finance Rates

If you will be taking out finance, don’t just accept the interest rate offered by the dealer. Check rates from banks and online lenders to leverage a better rate. Dealers often mark up rates and make extra profit from financing. Getting pre-approved for financing strengthens your bargaining position.

Follow these tips, and do your research, and your next used car is likely to be a bargain you can enjoy for years rather than a mistake you regret. Patience and diligence when shopping can really pay off. Take the time to make sure you’re getting a quality used vehicle at a price well below new.

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