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When your beloved car finally gives up the ghost, replacing the vehicle you’ve driven for most of your adult life can be an emotional and confusing experience.
While I can’t help much with the grieving process, I can offer some crucial advice that will take most of the confusion out of the equation.
So, without further ado, here are five tips that will ensure the used car you purchase is the right one for you.
Buying a used car that’s right for your wallet and lifestyle is often a fine balancing act between reliability and price. There are many choices such as Endurance, Olive and AAA Extended Warranty.
If the car is newer, the price will be considerably higher. If the car has higher mileage, it could be unreliable and require expensive repairs down the road. Experts recommend purchasing a car that is around three years old to find the perfect balance.
If your heart (or wallet) is set on buying an older car, be sure to purchase the best extended warranty for cars with over 100k miles – buying an extended warranty ensures that you won’t have to pay for any expensive repairs you can’t afford.
If the prospect of expensive repairs on your used car down the line makes you nervous, consider looking for a certified pre-owned vehicle. Vehicles that qualify for certification have been inspected by dealers and meet certain requirements.
For a used vehicle to pass the inspection, it must not exceed maximum mileage and age thresholds, aftermarket add-ons are restricted, and the car’s transmission system must be in good condition. These requirements are usually determined by the car’s manufacturer and will come with an extended warranty.
Once you have found a used car you’d like to buy, get it checked by an independent mechanic to make sure there are no underlying mechanical issues before you make the purchase.
If you have a mechanic you can trust, bring them along on your test drive and let them inspect it. You can also ask for permission to drive the car to your preferred garage or mechanic for a comprehensive checkup.
Before the digital age, checking on the true value of a used car was difficult. With the internet at your fingertips, you can now check consumer sites to see accurate and up-to-date prices from a database of dealerships to find out exactly what a car is worth.
Other useful sites are Carfax and VinCheck, which allow you to search any vehicle’s VIN number to see if it was ever involved in an accident.
Buying a used car is a major purchase that requires careful consideration. It’s vital to make decisions with your head rather than your heart. When you decide to buy a used car, becoming fixated on a certain make or color can be a recipe for disaster.
Instead, read car reviews online and look for vehicles that are known for their reliability. Never buy a car based on appearances alone. Buying a car that has problems can lead to years of regretting your purchase.