Buying a used car makes a lot of financial sense. You can get the car you really want, like a luxury sedan, at a much lower cost than buying it brand new. Not only will your payments be lower, but you will likely pay less for auto insurance as well. While buying a used car is a wise choice, it's also one that should be made with caution. To make sure you don't regret your purchase, just follow these tips for buying a used car.
Set a Strict Budget
While used cars tend to be a better deal than buying brand new, they still come in a wide range of prices. If you don't have a strict budget in mind, it's way too easy to be tempted by a used car that is actually out of your price range. Sit down with a list of your monthly and periodic expenses and figure out how much you can really afford. Don't forget to factor in monthly savings for future car repairs, gas, and insurance. Once you have your maximum budget, you can stick to only looking at cars that are under that price.
Check the Vehicle's History Report
Once you have started car shopping and find one or two used cars that you're really interested in, it's time to ask the used car dealership to run a vehicle history report. You can also do this on your own as long as you have the license plate number or VIN available using a site like Carfax. This will help ensure that you have an accurate idea of the vehicle's history, including any mechanical issues or major accidents.
Schedule a Pre-Purchase Mechanical Inspection
Finally, to avoid purchasing a car that looks great on the outside but is about to need a new engine, timing belt, or other major expense, it's crucial to have it inspected by a mechanic. Be sure to hire your own mechanic instead of just taking the word of a mechanic who works for the dealership. For a reasonable fee, most mechanics will perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection, giving you a list of their recommendations. If the car is older and will need some work in the near future, factor the cost of those repairs into your budget.
Following these tips will help you buy the used car of your dreams—like the used Lexus gs 350—and ensure you are making the best possible financial choice at the same time.