Most people like to think that they get themselves a bargain whenever they buy a used car, but the truth is a lot of people screw up because of their lack of research or knowledge on a given car brand.
The folks that usually end up having the raw end of the deals are the ones that boast to others about their superior knowledge of the used car industry. In fact, those people often confuse hearsay and rumour as fact.
If you want to make sure that you are a savvy shopper and not a car chump, be sure to avoid the following common mistakes:
Buying the first car you see
Buying a car is as important a decision as buying a house or some other expensive item. Used car purchases should be viewed as ones that are made after careful consideration of the available options.
All too often I see people buy the first car they happen upon, only to find out that the seller ripped them off in some way. Regardless of whether a used car is mass produced or is only one of 100, you need to spend some time checking out a few different ones for sale before choosing the one for you!
There are many places that you can find used cars for sale, ranging from big dealerships such as Sandles car supermarket to smaller, independent dealers. You also have the choice of buying from private sellers, but I tend to steer clear of them as the chances of ending up with a lemon are pretty high!
There are some members of society that will simply buy a car on impulse, only to regret it later and sell the car on for a huge loss.
Not doing a background check
Unless you are buying a brand new car, you should always perform some background checks on them before you part with your money.
Companies such as Carfax in the United States or HPI across the pond in the United Kingdom can provide you with detailed history information on your potential used car purchase.
The information that you can expect to find out includes whether the car has been declared a total loss by an insurance company or even if it has been reported stolen by its current owner.
Not doing any research
Buying a car because it “looks nice” is arguably one of the main reasons why people end up wasting their money!
The decision to buy a particular make and model of car should not rest on its aesthetics alone.
One should determine the reliability of the car, whether there are any known faults or expenses you are likely to have to pay out, and if the car has the right features to suit your needs.
Not test driving the car
So you’ve done a lot of research on the car you want to buy, you’ve made sure that it isn’t dodgy, and you hand over the cash for it.
But hang on a minute; did you take the car out for a test drive first? Shockingly, a lot of people buy used cars without road testing them first to ensure their roadworthiness!
Photo by Kathleen Tyler Conklin.