According to the author of The Paradox of Choice, buying a car is stressful for psychological reasons. Most people experience anxiety about how to approach the situation, what to say, and how to be pilote. However, buying a secondhand car can be a savvy purchase if you know what you’re doing. Here are some of the things to consider when shopping for a secondhand vehicle.
Do Your Research
Before you even start looking, outline your expectations for the buying process and the car itself. Decide how much you are prepared to spend and in what way you plan to spend it. Will you buy the car outright, or get it financed? Ask yourself what you plan to use the car for. Where will you drive it, how will you drive it, and what will you transport? Now that you have your search parameters, you can begin browsing in earnest.
When you find a model you like, it can’t hurt to do a little extra research on such a large purchase. How much do similar cars go for? Is this a good model? These days, everything is on the internet, and you can bet that someone out there has given the world their two cents on what you want to know. Just Google ‘[insert car name] problems’ and you should find the information you’re looking for.
Know Your Radiator From Your Rear Axle
Dealers and salespeople will think twice about trying to pull the wool over your eyes if you demonstrate that you know what is going on under the hood. Most people can identify the battery and the internal combustion engine that powers the car, but what about the other parts? What is the radiator, the transmission, and the alternator?
You’ll find the radiator at the very front of the hood section; it is the key part of your vehicle’s cooling system. Antifreeze and water circulate through the radiator and past the engine to discharge the heat from the combustion reaction. The transmission, or gearbox, is where torque from the vehicle’s movement is translated into the shifting gears, and the alternator receives power from the engine to charge the battery and power the car’s electrical system. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way and help you to identify potential issues with a used car.
The number one objective of every car salesperson is to get you down to the dealership and to have you sign on the dotted line. When dealing with pushy professionals, it can be easier to negotiate over the phone. Always take the fruits of your research with you, sometimes a few stats and figures are all it takes to downsell a seller.
Test Drive And Inspect First
Make sure that you not only test drive any prospective purchases but also get an independent mechanic to inspect the vehicle. And always ensure that there is a full service history, that you know whether the car has been in any accidents, and what parts were replaced thereafter.
When buying a secondhand car knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better equipped you are to make a financially sound decision.