Buying a second hand car is not a decision you should make in a hurry, but one that should be the result of carefully considering the related advantages and disadvantages, such as:
The lower price;
The opportunity to buy a make and model that you otherwise could not afford or is no longer being manufactured;
The opportunity to buy two or more cars and pay the amount you would otherwise have to pay on a single new vehicle.
If you do not do your homework, you risk buying a car that has been involved in a car crash and has serious mechanical problems that will cost a fortune to be fixed, one that has been stolen or that has seen only superficial repairs and is not reliable.
Obviously, a used car can be a great deal for someone on a budget, but, even so, there are a few aspects you need to consider before buying one.
Set a budget – if you find a great car that you cannot afford, do not let the seller trick you into accepting loans or other financing opportunities to buy it. You may easily find yourself buried in debts and forced to sell your car to cover them.
Choose the type of car and the options carefully: while you may want a sports car, with a powerful engine and all the options available on it, you may want to settle for a family car, with low fuel consumption and cheap maintenance. What use is a great car if you can’t afford to keep it or drive it?
Never buy a second hand car without having it checked and test driven by a reliable mechanic first. While it may look great on the outside and on the inside, there is no telling what is hidden under the hood. If the owner has nothing to hide, he will not object. If he does, than it is a sure sign that you should keep looking. The last thing you need is to spend more on repairs than you spend on the car itself.
Make sure the car has a clear history and it is not reported stolen. Perhaps the owner is a victim himself and has no idea something is wrong, but you should avoid paying the consequences at all costs.
Always complete the necessary paperwork. No matter how cheap the car is or how busy you are, you should always find time to paperwork. You wouldn’t want to be accused of driving a stolen car, not be able to insure it or have to pay for it twice, so be cautious and take your time.
Try to negotiate. Used car prices can usually be negotiated, and every dollar you can save should count. Especially when the mechanic finds something wrong with the car, use every detail you can to lower the price. You do not want to take advantage of the seller, but you do not want to pay more than you have to either, so protect your interests.
With these taken care of, you will most likely make a great deal and get yourself a good used car that you can drive for years in a row with no problems.