It can be tempting to choose the cheapest available model of car, but beware. If a car is too old, it may need lots of repairs and may not have some important safety features like airbags, antilock brakes and stability control. Older cars are also more likely to have mechanical problems.
If you’re considering buying a used car, this guide will help you avoid overpaying for one.
Know the vehicle’s value
Knowing the value of the car you want to buy is critical. You will have to do some research because car prices can vary quite a bit from dealer to dealer. The easiest way to find a car’s value is to use an Internet vehicle valuation website like Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides. You can usually get the value of a specific year, model and make from these sites.
Decide how much car you can afford
Figuring out how much you can afford for your monthly payments is easy because a lender will tell you based on your income and credit record. But it may be hard to decide how much of a down payment to make when buying the car outright. If you’re buying used cars in rancho cordova, you might have to put down as much as 20 percent of the car’s price because dealers often ask for a big down payment. According to Edmunds, “A down payment of 10 percent or less can really limit your bargaining power.”
Get preapproved for a loan
Before you start looking at cars, get preapproved for an auto loan. Many dealers will accept your car loan preapproval as proof that you can afford the car. This will make them less likely to try to sell you a car that costs more than you can really afford. Also, some dealers will refuse to give you a car loan if you haven’t been preapproved.
Know your price range
You probably won’t be able to find the exact car that you want, but knowing the price range of cars that come close will help keep you from overpaying for an older model with lots of repairs needed.
Avoid buying from car dealers
If you’re buying a new car, do your research to find the best price online or at a private seller. You also might be able to save money buying a used car from an Internet dealer. You can often find cars that have been listed for sale by people who are getting rid of their old cars and dealers, who want to move inventory quickly.