After years of service, the sedan that was once your dream car has given way to endless repairs or an engine that could not work anymore. Maybe you could buy another brand new ride, wanting to catch up on the latest trends and advancements in the newest sedan. But at the same time, you want to make the most of your money.

Fortunately, a brand new car is not the only option for you. You can settle on a used car. Before taking the next step, here are some things to keep in mind.

Understanding Your Needs

After deciding on a secondhand car, take time to analyze your priorities: What will the car be used for? What types of vehicles can you look into? How long has the car been used? Research on brands, models, and their reliability.

Consider your sources, too, including your friends who are selling cars, and internet and print ads. It is also important that you set a limit to how much you are willing to shell out. Know your priorities before you make this big investment.

Acquiring Your Next Investment

Consider your down payment, loan, and annual percentage rates (APR) while looking out for ads targeting first-time buyers or bad-credit holders. Scout and compare offers and negotiate for better deals through the sources mentioned earlier.

Beware of large down payments and high APR costs that could pose high risks to your finances over time. If money is tight, you can also consider paying in full a less expensive car if title loans or dealers around Boise do not appeal to you.

Before Driving Your ‘New’ Car

man smiling, driving his car

From a friend, auto dealer, or a co-worker, remember to attempt all of the following before deciding if the car is really for you.

  • Have a checklist for inspecting a secondhand car. You can find any of these in car magazines, books, or the internet. In addition, your mechanic or friend who specializes in cars can inspect the car to ease some of your worries.
  • Alongside the checklist, test drive the car. As an extension of your body, driving it yourself in various road conditions, highways, hills, and heavy traffic will best determine if it is for you. Check the brakes, lights, and other essentials during the test drive.
  • Trust and communication with the previous owner is very critical. Asking for relevant document such as maintenance records, files, and receipts will be useful when taking the car for repairs. Speak to your seller or dealer should problems arise.

Before Sealing the Deal

A car is a long-term investment and must be thought of with a considerable amount of time. Before signing the contract, consider the following.

  • Never shell out cash prior to signing a contract or document of agreement.
  • Be careful when buying the car “as is.”
  • Take note of the car’s mileage.
  • Read and understand the contract terms carefully before signing the document.
  • Learn about warranties in your state to better negotiate with your car dealer.

These are just a few considerations when buying a secondhand car. Aside from test driving and knowing what you want, learning the terms, conditions, and legal implications of your purchase can get you a long way with your finances, and of course, your pre-loved ride.