Used car shoppers almost always have different priorities from people searching for new cars. When shopping for a used car, many consumers focus more on their budget. They are happy to let another person bear the cost of the 30 to 40% depreciation that occurs on a new car during the first year. But apart from price, there are some other factors that smart used car shoppers must bear in mind to get the best value for their money. One of the best ways to decide on a good used car is to study the reviews of the car when it was new.
Focus on Performance
The car you buy will not be very useful to you unless it drives exactly how you want in terms of acceleration, braking, and fuel consumption. Although taking the vehicle for a test drive will help you to assess the car’s performance, the most effective way is to shortlist a few cars based on the assessment of car experts. You can easily get a list of high performing car models by looking at reviews of various car models written around the time when they were initially released. Bear in mind that a car that did not perform well when it was newly released will not get better with age.
Check out the Interior
A car whose interior scored a low rating when it was new will not be any better when you purchase it as a used car. Studying the reviews of the car when it was new will help you to know spacious and comfortable the seats are and the type of material used to make them. In the same way, you can discover how long the seats are expected to last. Other features such as the ergonomics of the dashboard, infotainment amenities, the amount of space available for cargo will also be discussed in a good review.
Get Low Cost Auto Finance
It’s important to begin the loan application process early if you intend to finance the purchase of your car in part or in full. You should get your credit report ready and contact customer-friendly banks, credit unions and other top rated lenders online. This will help you to get pre-approved for a car loan. You can then use this to negotiate for a better financing deal with your dealer. Note that the best rates usually come from credit unions and smaller banks.
Seek for Reliability
A study carried out by JD Power and Associates showed that nearly 60% of the participants indicated that reliability was a top priority. Now, it is relatively easy for people who shop for used vehicles to read technical reviews about any car and determine its reliability before buying it. Instead of relying on brand reliability alone, you should study dependability reports on cars which are three years old or more, so you can discover what current users are saying about the model you intend to buy.
Be Safety Conscious
Smart used car buyers will never sacrifice safety to save a few hundred dollars. Since some institutions now specialise in performing crash testing for new vehicles, you can use their ratings to decide how safe a car model will be. Apart from searching for high ratings for crash tests, you should also look at features like electronic stability control that enables you to reduce the probability of experiencing a crash.
Minimise Operating Costs
After you know the purchase price of a used car, it is vital to concentrate on the other operating costs that make up the total cost of owning the vehicle. Purchasing a cheap used car which is rather expensive to maintain is not a smart decision. So you need to look at fuel efficiency, maintenance, and repair costs. You should decide on the amount of your monthly budget that you need to spend on the car and ensure that the total cost of operation will not be higher.
To get the best deal when you are shopping for a used car, you should pay close attention to the tips and information provided here. When you combine them with actual physical inspection and test driving, you should be able to get a durable and reliable used car.