Six Tips for Purchasing a Pre-Owned Car in Gilbert
With the reliability and innovative features of modern cars, finding a high-quality used vehicle is easier than ever before. Not only are new cars designed to last for a minimum of 100,000 miles, buying a pre-owned vehicle will save you thousands. These tips will help you find an excellent value on a car or SUV you can drive for years to come.
Create a Budget
Financial experts recommend spending no more than 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay on a car, according to Edmunds. If you’re planning to take out a loan, keep in mind that the 20 percent figure should include the car payment and monthly insurance premium. Don’t forget to account for taxes and other fees, which typically total about 10 percent of the purchase price ($1,000 on a $10,000 car, for example). You’ll need a down payment totaling five to 10 percent of the purchase price to finance a pre-owned vehicle. Paying cash for a used car is also an option.
Make a Short List
Once your budget is determined, the search begins for your ideal used car. List the must-haves for your next vehicle in order of priority, then explore cars within your budget to see which models fit the bill. Aim to test drive three to four models that fit your requirements.
While no two used cars are alike, understanding the average value of the make and model you’re looking at will help you determine a fair price for the vehicle. Kelley Blue Book has been a trusted source for reporting and evaluating pre-owned car values since 1926. Many factors affect a car’s value, including the specific make, model, and trim; included options and features; mileage; whether the vehicle has been involved in any collisions; and overall condition.
Identify Potential Issues
Research each of the models on your short list carefully to understand what to expect if you choose that model. The best cars to buy used are those that receive high predicted reliability scores from J.D. Power and Associates and have a low five-year cost of ownership as indicated by Kelley Blue Book.
Take a Test Drive
While test driving the car, listen for any unusual noises. Drive on winding roads, hills, and highways so you can see how well the car performs. Test acceleration and steering, noting any dragging to one side or the other. The brakes should be responsive and strong. Make sure you feel good in the driver’s seat and can reach all controls comfortably.
Run a Vehicle History Report
Once you’ve narrowed it down, order a vehicle history report for your top contender from a service such as Carfax. This document will indicate whether the car has been involved in any collisions, if it has a clean title, whether required maintenance was completed and where the work was done, and how often the car changed owners.
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