What To Consider When Buying a Used Car

Written by  //  2021/05/13  //  Auto for Students  //  Comments Off on What To Consider When Buying a Used Car

Most college students would wholeheartedly agree it’s nice to have a car at school; it can take you across campus, to your off-campus job, or home for the holidays. For students on a budget, a used car is a good investment. If you’ve never bought one before, you may wonder what to consider when buying a used car. Here are the basic considerations.

Your Budget

Don’t even consider your dream car until you’ve considered your budget. How much can you afford to spend? How should you pay for your new vehicle? In general, it’s cheaper to pay upfront with cash. However, many people decide to finance their cars—taking out a loan and paying it back with interest over time. If you decide to do this, a good rule of thumb is to pay no more than 20 percent of your take-home pay per month. Regardless of whether you finance a car or purchase it with cash, deciding on a hard budget will help you to narrow down your options and avoid overspending.

 Types of Cars

Do you want a Sedan? A hatchback? An SUV? Consider categories first, and then your needs. If you need to transport a lot of cargo regularly, a truck or an SUV would be a good option, but if you just need to get yourself across campus, a smaller, cheaper car would be better. Consider the value and reliability of different makes. For example, Honda models such as the Honda Accord are known for their reliability and ability to retain their value, making even those with high mileage a good investment.

Vehicle History

Before committing to buying a certain vehicle, check the vehicle history report. This will reveal key information about a specific vehicle’s past, including past ownership, servicing, accidents, and any potential red flags. To find a vehicle’s history report, you’ll need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate number. Most dealerships provide the report for free in the car’s listing.

Taking a Test Drive

In their haste to get a car, many people forget about one of the most important steps: taking a test drive! It’s essential to physically get behind the wheel and test the car. That way, you’ll be able to identify any issues with its performance—features you can’t stand or areas in which it doesn’t line up with your criteria. Better to find out what you like and don’t like about the car before officially purchasing it. You can always walk away if you don’t like it.

Knowing what to consider when buying a used car will help you to make the best possible decision in your search. Be smart when buying, not impulsive, and find a car that’ll serve you well—at least during your college years!

image credit: Pixabay

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