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3 Keys To Buying A Good Used Car

Buying a used car is a practical approach to affordable transportation. At one time, stopping at a lot with the used cars for sale sign out was risky business, but today, a gently used vehicle is the way to go. Lower prices and enhanced features are key benefits to getting a car that has a few miles on it. The trick is to shop smart.

1. Determine Your Budget
The fact that you are buying used means that money is a concern. Set a limit for yourself before shopping. Sit down and calculate a spending range. The middle of this range is the sweet spot – the ideal price of the car. Going lower is a bonus, but it is critical to establish the absolute maximum you can afford. Don’t forget the little extras fees like taxes, registration and dealer costs.

If financing the purchase, figure out an acceptable monthly payment. Take the time to investigate loan options before going out, as well. You might be able to secure the financing prior to looking at cars, forcing you to stick to a limit, you may even want to leave some money over for a private reg plate to compliment your new vehicle.

2. Do Some Research
One of the biggest mistakes used car consumers make is buying from their heart. If you always wanted a Mustang, you may end up paying more for one or buying a lemon just to fulfill that dream. Do some research on the current models and make a list of possibilities. Take into consideration what you will need from the vehicle. If you commute a long distance, you don’t want a gas-guzzler. People living in the tropics can do without the 4WD.

Don’t limit your options when shopping. Create a list of three to five models that interest you and fit your lifestyle.

3. Always use the Buddy System
Don’t buy until someone you trust looks at the car. It might be a sibling, parent, friend or even better, a mechanic. If you see a car and fall in love, walk away for a day or two, then go back with your buddy to get a second opinion. Just because it’s stylish, doesn’t mean it is the most practical choice for you. Even if you know about cars, it is still a good idea to let someone else look too. What you miss, they might catch.

At one point it was a scary prospect to look at used cars, but with today’s resources, it just makes sense. Car dealers have certification programs that provide protection on quality used cars for sale. The Internet offers ways to research models and find adequate funding. Buying used saves you money on both the purchase price and insurance. It is winning choice for many consumers.

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Jillian Johnson is a professional content marketing writer and blogger with a particular interest in writing about autos. To read more writing by Jillian, follow her @MissWritey.