5 Helpful Tips to Buying a Used Car

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Buying a Used CarSponsored Post

As a New Yorker, I’ve never really had the need to own a car. Public transportation is the preferred method of travel. Because of that, I’ve never even bothered to get a license. All that is about to change as I’ve realized that I want to spend more time outside of the city limits and that requires a car and a license.

If all goes well, I’ll have my license by the end of this month and then the journey to purchase a car will begin. I intend to get a used one first and having gone through the process with a friend as he purchased a used car for his daughter made me learn some valuable tips that I’ll share with you today.

1. Research – Every car that his daughter mentioned that she was viewing on the lot, he had me look up on Cars.com. They have a pretty extensive list of new and used cars with details on how the car performs, what is good mileage and what is a reasonable price. The review section was incredibly helpful and he narrowed it down to a couple of choices pretty quickly.

buying a used car

2. Safety – It’s important to make sure that the car is safe. With a new car you can rest assured that everything is in working order off the lot but, with a used car you have to be a bit careful. Make sure to test the windshield wipers, the brakes when you test drive the car, how the wheels turn, the seat belts and if you will need car seats, that they will fit properly in the back seats.

3. Ownership – Knowing how many previous owners is key to deciding whether or not you’ll buy the car. You should find out if the car has been in any accidents and what the mileage was at each point that it changed ownership.

4. Thorough Inspection – My friend is very knowledgeable of cars so he was able to give the used cars a look over to determine if there was anything needed before taking it off the lot. For example, the car that he ended up choosing for his daughter he had them change two of the tires that were worn.

He also had them do an oil change and he checked the inside of the car and asked how old the battery was and other basic maintenance questions. If you don’t know much about cars then you should bring someone who does or bring a mechanic along with you.

buying a used car

5. Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate – Never pay full price. The dealers have some wiggle room and they are willing to work with you to reach a reasonable price and if the dealer bought the car at auction then they have even more room to move on the price.

I’m pretty confident when I finally go to buy my used car that these tips will come in handy. I do plan on bringing my friend with me but, if he’s not available I’ll have this post in hand.

Do you think these tips for buying a used car were helpful?

  • Michelle Gwynn Jones

    These are good tips. As misplaced New Yorker (SC now) I would think the first tip depending on where you live in the city would be ‘am I going to drive a car enough to deal with the cost and hassle of parking.and car payments Don’t underestimate how much fun it is to rent a car – you can drive something different every time you go out. 2 seater convertible or SUV – a Toyota or a Porsche

  • Rose Mont

    Negotiate is a good tip. I think people may overlook this tip because it is a used car. I would take it to someone for an inpection because I may overlook something.

  • Jenn Goggin

    Yes so important to haggle with them! Otherwise they take advantage of you! I leased a car this time, won’t be doing that again. Already way over my miles

  • Yes, I’ll be keeping this in mind. We’ll be getting a new vehicle soon and I plan on negotiating big time.

  • I think safety would be my mine concern but all these tips are great. Not going to buy a car anytime soon but I shall remember the tips when i do!

  • Jessica Taylor

    I could have really used this a few months ago! Buying a used car is so hard!

  • Maro Akamatra

    I recently wrote a post about how to choose the right car for you. The cars.com is a great site.

  • These are really helpful tips! Many people buy second-hand cars these days.. Background check is essential! 🙂

  • Hannah Marie

    This is really helpful. Negotiate, negotiate and negotiate. I will keep that in mind. Very informative.

  • Amanda Schreiber

    Thanks for this! I researched and shopped for 4 months before settling on a slightly used Ford Focus. I bought mine through Hertz, they sell rental cars that have 25k+ miles on them for under KBB value. And it took the negotiating part of out of it for me, which was the part I hated!

  • Dena S

    Good to know these tips! This will come in handy in the near future as I am saving for and planning to buy one.

  • Denay DeGuzman

    What great tips for buying a used car. I always stress over the purchase of new or used vehicles because of the haggling back and forth and wondering if the price being quoted is fair or if I can get a better deal.

  • Cynthia Nicoletti

    Great tips for purchasing a new car. It can be very stressful because everyone gives you different prices.

  • Anchal Narayan

    These are some really great tips. Will be handy because I am looking for a used car. Will keep these in mind

  • Oh wow thank you for these tips. I’ve been looking into getting a used car and I know how important a full inspection is prior to buying.

  • Kelly Hutchinson

    We bought a used car a few years ago. We followed several of these tips. We love our car!

  • Rebecca Swenor

    These are all great tips for buying a used car. It is so important not to pay full price because they jack the price up just for negotiations. Cars.com is a great place to research any used car. Safety of the vehicle is the number one priority. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Linda Carmical

    One of my clients just partnered up with car.com; from all I’m writing about for him it checks out as a top notch company. Great tips you have here and I’m sure they’ll come in handy for people!

  • Kylie Shayne Go

    These are great and useful tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • kim@hungryhealthygirl

    I always buy used! And your tips are spot on!