Used Cars

What to Look for When Buying A Used Car

By TheCarzingTeam June 4, 2019 | Used Cars

Used Cars

It’s not that easy to buy a used car from a reseller. The process is tricky, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. To trust someone selling the car is a major concern, especially if you’re buying it privately. When you want to view the used vehicle, you need to ensure you’ve checked it thoroughly. Here are some tips to ensure the car you intend to buy doesn’t have any problem.

  1. Do background research for the current rate

Before you view the car, you need to do some research to know the current rate of that specific car. You surely want to pay a worthy amount for the used car you’ve chosen. Just remember that when you buy from a motor trader, you have more rights than buying the vehicle privately. It is therefore essential that you try to follow the tips outlined below.

  1. Check the mileage

If the vehicle you choose is under three years old, you need to check the mileage, maybe around 25,000 to 30,000 miles, for a great buy. If there is more mileage, then you’ll know that the car has been driven hard and can have an adverse effect on the engine.

  1. Check the bodywork for blemishes

If you’re considering a used car, you need to check its body for possible blemishes. The best time to find the defects is during daytime. Look for signs of rust as this indicate corrosion. Rust can likely occur for a car aged 5 years and older. If rust is spotted, it can weaken the metal and will need welding to make it right. Also check for signs of crash repairs as this will show through ripples on the paintwork.

  1. Test drive the vehicle

Never buy a car without test driving it yourself. Ensure you can drive it before you take it out. If possible, take it on a motorway with twisting roads and ensure you check the reverse. It should provide a good feel on how you drive the car. You can also see how the gears work, how the car pulls to one side, and if the clutches are stiff.

  1. The wear and tear of the used car

The mileage of the car corresponds to the depreciation of the vehicle. You must also do a quick check on the condition of the engine. If the engine is dirty, then you can say that the vehicle hasn’t been cared for properly.

So, if you have second thoughts of buying a used car from a private seller, try reputed and reliable garages that offer used cars. They are usually approved by the car’s manufacturer, so you know it’s trustworthy. With their guarantee, you’ll know that the used cars have been built with the highest standards and are well maintained.

How to Negotiate with the Buy

Now you have allocated a budget and have done a thorough research for the used car you intend to buy. The next move is to negotiate with a dealer and make the purchase. You can haggle for the price that can go lower than what it’s initially priced. Now this doesn’t need to be an unpleasant experience. You need to bargain so you can get the best deal.

If it’s your first time to buy a used car, you need some tips, so you know how to discuss the price of the car with a dealer. Below are steps on how you can negotiate with car dealers or private sellers:

  • Do your research

Know what you want so you get the right deal. Even long before you meet the car seller, you must know what car model and specification you want, including the price in the used car market. If you show your knowledge in cars, the seller will realize that you know so much, and may think hard before asking for a higher price than what the car is really worth.

To know the real price of car currently selling, you can check the Internet and see the different prices offered for used cars. You can search through websites and forums that give you information about the various car models and makes. The online sites can also offer helpful tips to buy a used car, how it can be checked, and how other buyers have negotiated successfully with dealers. Some car dealers too own websites where they can list the used cars for sale. You can visit these sites to get concepts on how much a specific model or make is priced.

Also ask people you know, like a family member or friend, who knows about cars. You can heed their advice, so you can find leads on where to buy used or second-hand cars. Just do your research on anything you like to buy, and you’ll certainly make a wise decision when buying it.

  • Talk to some used car dealers

In the used car market, there are so many car dealers offering to sell their used cars. You can explore the market and talk with some dealers, who can give the best price. Once you’ve talked to these sellers, you can compare their offers and pick one that fits your budget. Also, if the car dealer knows you’ve asked from other providers, they are willing to consider your price, as they don’t want to lose a valued customer interested in this vehicle.

  • Let a mechanic inspect the vehicle

Just like choosing a house, you need to do the same thing when buying a used car.  To ensure that the used vehicle has everything it needs to run safely and smoothly, you can hire a mechanic to do the thorough inspection. Here you’ll find inspectors that can offer mobile onsite support which are helpful in haggling or negotiating.

A mechanic will also give you details on what is needed to be fixed and how much the used car will cost. To be more accurate with the pricing, you need to find a mechanic whom you can trust or is recommended by close friends. Depending on how much repairs you need for the car, the dealer can provide discounts for the work required. It really doesn’t hurt if you ask.

If the vehicle doesn’t pass the standards after inspection, then you need to find the next used car with better listing.

  • Set a price

Once you’ve done your research and have the used car inspected by a mechanic, you need to work with a budget that best fits your needs and the seller. Determine how much you are willing to pay for the car and have a price in mind when negotiating with them. You can start the negotiation for a low but reasonable price. Then, you can bargain your way to the amount that is both agreeable to you and the dealer. Once you finally agree on the price, put it in writing. Should there be problems encountered regarding the deal, you have a contract as proof for the negotiations.

If you need financing, you can always approach a bank or credit union to offer you a better term, such as low interest rate. Ensure you understand your financing options before speaking with the seller.

  • Don’t show your eagerness when buying a used car

When you’re meeting a used car seller, never show your eagerness that you’re ready to purchase the car. If you do, they may increase the price as they are aware you have the money and can’t wait to buy it.

If you’re meeting up with a dealer, just be calm and keep cool. Don’t provide him hints that you are ready to purchase the car. You can have them discuss the specifications and talk about possible cars you can invest. This will show the car sellers that you are only inquiring for a specific model and therefore they won’t increase the price.

How to Save on Insurance Premiums

Now that you have negotiated and purchased the used vehicle of your choice, the next step is to find an insurance company where you can save on premiums. Note that car insurance is important to keep you protected anywhere as you drive down the streets, and it’s also mandated by government that car owners must have one. However, you need to choose an insurance company that gives you the best insurance premiums. So, if you want to get the best rates on premiums you can afford, just follow these steps for ideas:

  • Shop for insurers

So, you get the best premiums for your used car, you need to search for reputed insurers that offer the best deals. However, you can’t just choose those that offer the cheapest, as it may not cover what you need for your used car. How to find insurance companies with the right deals is to ask quotes and what they usually cover. Just verify if they can possibly include a coverage that you need. Also check if they are reputed and reliable. This will provide convenience if you need to renew the coverage or want a new provider.

  • Have experienced tickets or accidents

This is the possible reason why you’re paying more on your premiums. You a considered a high-risk driver. Even if you haven’t tried receiving tickets, it can still be a factor for some insurance companies. If you have met an accident before, check with insurance if it was your fault or not. If it wasn’t your fault, insurance will not count it against you. If it was, then they will require a certain percentage that can affect your premium.

  • Know your location

It’s a great factor that can affect the price of your premium. Insurers consider the statistics on areas where claims are considered high-risk. Claims can include accidents, vandalism and thefts. If you live in a metropolitan, premiums can be higher than those living in suburbs and surrounding areas. For a more affordable rate on premiums, you can move to the province.

  • Type of vehicle driven

Depending on the type of car you own, insurance can either cost high or low. If you own a sports car, this can have a higher premium than a family sedan. Imported cars have higher premiums due to the cost of parts and labor during repairs. Owning an expensive car will need to pay more premiums, as when it’s lost, insurance will pay the entire amount of the coverage. There are also models that are cheaper to repair during collision but may involve a higher risk for bodily injury. So, before you buy your next car, ensure you have done research and gathered information about the vehicle.

  • Your age can be a determining factor

A driver aged below 25 will pay more on premiums as they are prone to accidents and tickets as featured in some statistics. However, if they are good in their academic records or have completed a driver training program, insurers can provide them discounts. Also, a driver aged 50 and above are eligible for discounts. But premiums can go higher if they reach 75 years or older.

  • The mileage of the vehicle

If you’re vehicle has more mileage, then it has more exposure for accidents. You can battle the issue by using commuting, biking or merely walking a short distance. If you have an average mileage, you can save on premiums. The wear and tear of your vehicle is minimized, as you spend less on fuel and help create a better environment.

  • Required safety features in place

It’s important especially when you’re planning to get covered by insurance. Ensure your used car has airbags, daytime running light, anti-lock brakes and active resistant system. For added features, you can have anti-theft device and GPS tracking, where most insurance companies can give discounts. This is the best way to get lower premiums as insurance knows you are well protected inside your car.

  • Multiple policy holder

If you have more than property to insure aside from your car, insurance can provide you with discounts and lower premiums. You can include home and life insurance policies. It’s actually a better option to have one insurer handle all your policies for easier claims.

  • Pay an annual payment

If you had to pay monthly on premiums, it will cost more than having to pay in full annually. It may be difficult to make a full payment as it entails a bigger amount; however, you save more than what you expect. Paying in full will make you focus less on premiums and handle other expenses your household needs.

How to Take Care of Your Used Car to Last

With the used car you have purchased, you’ll surely like to drive it anywhere you want to go with comfort and convenience. To make it last longer, you’ll need to take good care of it. You need to make it reliable, worthy for driving and intact for a resale value. So, below are tips on how you can care for your car:

  • Washing

Just like you and your house, your used car needs to be frequently washed and cleaned for good maintenance. It may have bird droppings or snow that can ruin the car finishing, and therefore, you need to clean it regularly. You don’t need to do it every day. You can have your car washed weekly or let a car wash do the job.

  • Oil change

Your car needs regular oil change to make the engine last long. You can have it changed in every three months or six months if you own a brand-new car.

  • Tune up

Replace the spark plug, fuel filter, air filter and emission control filters regularly. If a mechanic replaces the spark plugs, he has to check the ignition wires, rotor and cap if the car still has them.

  • Waxing

You can wax your car at least twice a year to make it look good and shine.

  • Check under the hood

If you do so, you ensure your car has no problems and will secure that you’re not going to have costly repairs.

  • Balance and alignment

You need to protect your wheels to maintain the maximum life of your tire. You also ensure your car will drive a straight level on the road.

  • Winterizing

This process is done on areas that experience snow. The cold weather can cause corrosion in the cooling system and to prevent it, you need to flush the cooling system regularly and replace the anti-freeze.

  • Timing belt

A vehicle owner’s manual can tell you the best mileage when the timing belt needs to be changed.

  • Filters

The car has different filters that you need to change regularly. You can start with the air filter to ensure air keeps going into the engine. The fuel filter also needs to be changed, which is found near the gas tank or engine compartment. Cabin filters are found in few older car versions and are located under the dash. It will clean the air that goes inside the passenger compartment.


There you go! This article just showed you what you need to do when looking for a used car to buy, how to negotiate for the right price, how to secure the best premium for your insurance coverage, which is a must, and how to maintain your used car, so it lasts many years of usage. All these will save you money and you can even retain the good condition of your used car, especially if you want to resell it.

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