Tips for Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be scary business. Even a used car is a substantial financial investment, likely to cost thousands of dollars. Your choice will also affect you for years to come, and you do depend on that choice to get you to work and other things. There is also the debate about whether to buy used or new. You get a car for a lot less money used, and you don’t lose as much on depreciation, but you also don’t have the assurance of protection of a new car warranty. We’ve put these tips together to help reduce the chances of buying a faulty used car that leaves you stranded on the side of the road.

Regardless of how you feel about the debate, here are five things to keep in mind when you shop for a new car.

1. Do your research. Determine the type of car you can afford, and then use the Internet to find a few that fit in that price range. Most dealers have websites now, so you can see cars available online for miles around. Also check the reputation of dealers. There are a lot of dealers, so you don’t have to put up with any shady dealers. Know what the price of the car should be before you go look.

2. Investigate the car. Ask for maintenance records, but usually there are not any. Get a Carfax report, or any kind of similar report on the car. This will tell you if it has been involved in an accident or had a major incident. It isn’t foolproof, but at least it is a start. If a dealer refuses, walk away and don’t look back. You might also take the car to a mechanic and get them to give it a quick look, hopefully someone you know and trust. They will be able to spot anything that is obvious to a professional. Dealers are good at detail and making any car look great. Again, if you get resistance from the seller on this point, walk away.

3. Avoid suspicious deals. If a deal seems to good to be true, there is something wrong and you should not take it. No one sells a $10,000 car for $3,000, so if you get an offer like that, run away fast. Also avoid any deals that do not include a free and clear title at the time of sale. Sometimes a dealer will try to sell a wrecked car that has a salvaged title.

4. Buying from individuals is risky. When you buy from an individual, you may get a better price and at may be a great deal. It also may not. There is just more risk there and you have no protection. With a dealer at least, usually there is a 30 day warranty.

5. Consider all your options. There are other ways than buying from a used car lot or an individual. Car rental companies also sell off their vehicles. These are well maintained, even if they have a few scratches and have been treated rough. Cars off lease are another option. If you know a lot about cars, you can even go to an auction, but that is risky.

Of course, the end goal of following the above tips is to help ensure you don’t end up with a junker car that frequently breaks down. We know getting stranded on the side of the road can be scary & frustrating. However, if you find yourself broken down around the San Marcos, TX area, give Will Tow a call and we’ll get you towed where you need to go as quickly as possible.

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