How to Buy a Used Car like a Pro

If you desire to own a car but you don’t have the budget to buy a new one, then your next best option will be to go for a used car. With them, you have a wide range of options that will most likely accommodate any budget you have. But with the murky stories that keep making rounds about used cars, as well as the hard-nosed used car salesmen, wadding the waters of the used car market can sometimes be intimidating, and you might as well be walking into a potential minefield.

However, if you take your time and learn about what it takes to buy a used car successfully, you will minimize your chances of ending up with a bad experience. Below are some of the things worth considering if you want to buy a used car like a pro-:

Year old cars are cheaper and more relatively efficient

The average cost of a new car is about $30,000, but after one year and after clocking about 10,000 miles, the price can be anywhere south of $22,000. This is a depreciation of over 25% in just 12 months. The value will go down considerably in the second and the subsequent years. Therefore, you may consider going for the year olds if your budget can allow it. You will still be getting a car in great condition and will serve you for many more years to come. This is more prudent that going for very old used cars that already have histories of mechanical problems and other complications.

Know the cheapest cars to run

The average person doesn’t want to spend a lot on car maintenance when they can use the money for other things. Unless you are already rich and you don’t care about what you spend on the car, you should know about the cheapest cars to run. This will go a long way in helping you save on the operating expenses and also will ensure you don’t channel a huge chunk of your income towards maintaining the car. Here are some of the rules as far as the cheapest cars go-:

  • Smaller engines are relatively cheaper – though they may not be the best in terms of horsepower, cars with small engines burn less fuel than those with bigger engines. If you care about the fuel economy of the car, always consider going for the ones with smaller engines.
  • Petrol cars may be cheaper than diesel cars – some people love diesel engines because they are more economical in consumption when compared to petrol engines. However, these cars can sometimes be very expensive, and you are likely to pay more at the pump.
  • Manual cars are cheaper than their automatic counterparts – driving manual cars to come with extra work while driving the automatic ones is relatively easy. At the time of buying, however, manual cars are relatively cheaper than the automatic cars. But don’t forget that automatic cars are fuel efficient because they can automatically detect the gear you should be using, hence, you may recoup your costs later on.
  • Ensuring smaller cars is cheaper – the other avenue for saving money which people rarely focus on when it comes to owning a car is on the insurance. If you want to spend the least on insurance, then be sure to go for smaller cars.

Know when it is the best time to buy a car

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If you talk to most of the used car dealerships in Phoenix, AZ, and ask them about the best time of the year to buy a car, they will tell you that anytime is the best time. But you have to realize that this is at their convenience because they want you to buy the cars so that they can make the money. However, not all times will you get the best deals on cars. One thing you need to know is that most of the dealers usually have targets to meet, and the targets are usually based on quarterly sales. For the majority, the targets are the end of December, March, June, and September.

At such times, dealers are desperate to make sales, especially if they are still far from reaching their targets, and this may work to your advantage in getting some very good discounts on the car. For those that have already hit their targets, they will still be desperate to sell more so that they can grab the bonuses that come with the extra sales. Therefore, as a savvy buyer, try to plan your purchase date to coincide with these periods when the dealers need to sell the most.

Know how to choose the car you want correctly

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If you think you need just any car, then don’t walk into the used car dealerships in Phoenix AZ and start negotiating for a unit. Before you think about making the purchase, it is imperative to evaluate your needs and have very clear reasons why you need the car. This is how you will determine the best car to buy but on your specific needs. To help you figure out what car best suits your needs, here are a few questions you should ask yourself-:

  • What is my main reason for wanting or buying this car?
  • Will I need the car for anything specific?
  • How will I use the car? For short drives or longer journeys on the highway?
  • Should I buy a petrol or a diesel engine?
  • Is there a need for a big boot for extra storage?
  • Should I go for an eco-friendly car?

The real cost of owning the car

Once you decide on the specific car you want, the next thing is to find out the actual cost of owning the car. This should include the actual cost of buying the car and the cost of maintaining the car. If you are going for financing, you should also factor in the interest rates as well as the duration of repaying the loan. Additionally, you should think about the cost of fuel, taxes, insurance, parking permits, and tolls and also other potential expenditures such as car wash etc.