In The Market for a Good Used Car? Keep These Basics in Mind

The time has come to think about replacing your current vehicle. While you may not be in a position to purchase a new one, there are plenty of good used cars on the market. Your task is to find one that is in great shape, provides reliable transportation, and fits in your price range. It also helps to focus on tips for buying a good used car with bad credit. Here are some points to keep in mind as you begin to look at different vehicles.

Setting a Limit on What You Can Spend

What will fit into your budget in terms of paying for the vehicle? Keep in mind that it’s not just the purchase price. You should also factor in basic maintenance costs plus those monthly insurance premiums. The goal is to focus on a car that’s reliable and affordable. To that end, set a limit on how much you can pay for a used vehicle. Factor in those other expenses so that keeping the car will not lead to financial hardship. Remember that you don’t have to spend the entire limit. If you find a great deal on a great car that’s under the amount, that’s all the better.

Pay Cash if Possible

When it comes to getting a good deal on a used car, cash is king. Dealers and private sellers are often willing to go lower than their asking price if paid in cash. At the same time, you probably don’t want to spend less than $2500 if your goal is to get a reliable motor vehicle. Cars priced lower than that tend to be breakdowns waiting to happen. If you don’t have enough cash on hand to buy a decent used car, consider taking out a small personal loan to cover the rest. If your credit is bad, consider installment loan options for bad credit borrowers. A short-term loan of a few hundred bucks can be the difference between settling for a rust bucket and finding a diamond in the rough.

What Constitutes a Good Used Car?

A good used car is safe and reliable. It goes when you want to go, stops when you need to stop, and provides decent gas mileage. There are no outward signs that the vehicle will need any type of major repair any time soon. In short, the car runs properly and is unlikely to leave you stranded by the side of the road. While looks are nice, they are not the major focus here. An attractive and sporty body does not automatically mean the vehicle is reliable or that it will provide good gas mileage. Your task is to look beyond appearance and devote more attention to actual performance and function.

Signs That the Car You Are Considering is a Lemon

There are easily detectable signs a used car is no good and you should be aware of them. An engine that doesn’t idle smoothly may mean more than a tune-up. A transmission that doesn’t shift easily could be headed for trouble. If you notice the grime around the tailpipe is almost wet with oil, you can bet the engine will cause problems soon.

Even little things like tires with uneven tread indicate something is not right. It could be that the tires need balancing or it could mean the car has been wrecked and the front end alignment was not done properly. Unless you want to spend more money on repairs in the next several months, keep shopping.

Remember that the right used vehicle will last for several years. Look past the hype and find a deal that is affordable and leaves you with reliable transportation. In the long run, your efforts will be worth it.

Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.