Read this before you buy a used car

Is buying a new car right for your budget? There are a lot of shiny new vehicles out there. But is it worth spending your money on a brand-new car? If you are on a tighter budget, you might want to look at a used car.

It is no mystery that once you drive a car off the car lot, it loses its value. New vehicles lose 20 percent of their value each year. In the car’s second year, it will be worth 80 to 85 percent of its original value. Any vehicle continues to depreciate as weeks, months, and years pass. Many car buyers complain about how quickly their new car depreciates. Let us say you purchased a vehicle valued at $20,000 its value instantly goes down to around $17,000. Even if you have only driven it for a few minutes and suddenly changed your mind, you are now looking at a car that is only worth the wholesale value. 

Just because a vehicle has some mileage, does not mean it is going to be a bad car. Buying a newer model with higher mileage is preferable to purchasing an older model with lower mileage. There is a simple reason for this: rubber components in a car degrade over time regardless of mileage. In addition, cars are meant to be driven. Vehicles with higher mileage tend to last longer because they will lubricate themselves more often and burn carbon build-up, which helps the engine last longer.

It can be browbeating when you are going car hunting, whether you are buying new or used. If you do not know what you are looking for, you could get into a headache. But, if you know these things, you will be fine.

I have a checklist of things I look for when buying a used car. The first thing I look at is the purchase sticker in the window. Most of the time, this sign is going to give you some valuable information about the car. Such as mileage and price. Sometimes, the price is too high for the mileage and condition of the vehicle. Therefore, it may not be worth your time to take it for a test drive.

The second thing that I look at is the body of the vehicle. Are there any dents, rust or other blemishes on the car that I am going to have to fix? If there are just cosmetic scratches, that could help you get the cost of the car down. But keep in mind that if there are any panels of the vehicle that you must repaint. Matching it can be difficult on an older vehicle: paint tends to fade over time. 

Thirdly, I am going to look at the wheels and tires. Wheels and tires can be expensive if you must replace them. When I am looking at the tires, I am looking to see if the tires match. Ideally, you are going to want all your tires to match in both types and wear. It is a sign that the previous owner did not take good care of their car if there are mismatching tires. If you are rotating your tires on a scheduled basis. They are going to wear similarly. 

Checking to see how much life is left on tires is critical. To do this, you take a penny and put it between the treads of the tire. If the tread covers old Abe’s head, you are good. If it does not cover any portion of his head. You are going to need to replace those tires. 

Note there is another way to check the life of the tires If you do not have any change laying around. You can check the tires by looking for a wear bar in between the treads. If you see them, it is time to replace those tires. Most people do not think about looking at the wheels and tires on a car they are going to buy. Do not be like these people. As I said, it can be very expensive to replace.  

I next move to the interior of the vehicle. You want to make sure the condition of the vehicle is in good or decent shape. Look at the condition of the plastic trim in the car, the seats, and the carpet. Make sure there are no stains, cracks, or other signs of above normal wear and tear. This could change the price that you should be paying and is a sign that the previous owners did not take good care of their car. 

The last and fifth thing I am going to be looking at is the undercarriage of the car. I am looking at the frame and the floor of the vehicle. Making sure there is no frame damage from an accident or rust spots. 

Checking for rust spots is very important to check out. Especially if you are in a region of the country where it snows. The ice from the road can wreak havoc on a vehicle. Also, while I am down there. I am going to be looking to see if there are any leaks. Depending on what it is, it can be a huge cost and headache to a car owner. 

If you’re searching for a newer car without the higher price tag, you can opt for a certified used car. There are many reasons why you would choose to go with a certified used car. 

For one, it has been inspected from top to bottom. Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles are certified by the manufacturer or other certifying authority. They are inspected and refurbished to assure their quality. 

Non-CPO vehicles have no warranty. They are often sold “as is”. If you get a certified vehicle, you are going to have a manufacturer-backed warranty vehicle. But at a lower, more affordable, price than a new car.

Second-hand cars are obviously the cheaper alternative to new cars. But just because the car is not brand new. That does not mean it is not a good car. Buying a used car has its perks, especially if you are a tight budget. Now that you have the right knowledge. Go find a second-hand cat that is still road-worthy.  

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