There’s an endless number of reasons to buy a used car over a brand-new one. The most obvious one of all is the savings you’ll enjoy. Thanks to technology, cars now boast all sorts of impressive features. There are models that can park itself and others with multilingual digital assistants. But at its core, cars are for transportation and older models can do it just fine. You’ll also get a better value for money due to lower insurance costs. Plus, it has the added benefit of not depreciating as fast as new vehicles.
The problem is choosing the right secondhand car. There are plenty of options out there and it’s easy to pick the wrong one. Instead of saving you money, it might cost you more due to multiple repairs.
To help you make the correct decision, here are a few ways you can get the most value for your money:
Get a Close Look
Don’t focus on what a vehicle looks like at first glance. Some models look like they’re still brand-new while others appear as if they’re ready to go to the junkyard. But it’s important to go beyond the surface. There’s a reason why it was sold by the owner even though it still looks good. Some cars may just be in need of some auto detailing, and you can still get a good mileage out of them.
Instead, check out mismatched panels, hubcaps, and fenders. It might be a sign that the car has been in an accident. This is especially important if the seller did not disclose it because they might be hiding the car’s more serious issues.
Prick up Your Ears
It’s not enough to keep your eyes wide open when perusing your next car. It’s crucial to listen carefully as well. This will come into play when you test drive your potential car. If there’s any engine trouble, you’ll hear it when you’re starting it. Take it as a red flag if you hear a loud knocking sign. Considering that the cost of an engine replacement is around $4,000, it might be a reason why the car is sold at a particularly low price.
Besides the engine, strange sounds coming a car can also be a sign of other issues. Loose nuts and bolts or squealing brakes are indications of repairs and replacements. While they may be cheaper to fix, they are still additional repairs you have to do. You can use them as bargaining chips to get a lower price on the vehicle.
Be Wary of Rust
Rust doesn’t just make a car look bad, but it can also be a sign of something more serious. It means that the metal parts of the vehicle have started or is corroding. The structure may not be as sturdy as it once was. Rustiness is an especially important sign to look for in a relatively new car. This is because modern vehicles are made with corrosion protection. It may be a sign that the car has not been maintained or cleaned regularly.
Besides the appearance and performance, rust is a problem because of the expense. Auto repair shops’ put the average of rust removal at $500. If there are too many parts to be dealt with, the vehicle may not be worth it.
Do the Math
There’s no perfect secondhand car out there. There’s bound to be a problem or two. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a vehicle that is within your budget and can deliver what you need. Narrow down your picks and consider the repairs that you’ll need with each one. Consult with an auto repair shop or car mechanic to get an idea of how much it will cost to get the vehicle to its best possible state. You’ll find out if the used car is really the best option for you or if there are better alternatives out there.
If you have budget constraints, you can always delay fixing the less serious issues. But it’s best to be on top of all the problems as early as possible.
Buying a car is a crucial decision that should not be taken lightly. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a brand-new model or a used one. It’s still an investment and an important vehicle that you’ll use every day. Not only will it affect your routine but the safety of your family as well. Don’t be swayed into making hasty decisions by the car dealer or seller. Take your time and consider all the factors.