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Simple Used Car Buying Checklist

December 15, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

The efficiency of a checklist does not differ when buying a car, particularly a used car, as a checklist can be helpful to guide you through the process. Using a checklist when buying a used car may help avoid overlooking an important step that may hinder the purchase in the end and save both time and money. Used Cars Group have provided this checklist for anyone who is looking to buy a used car, which is especially helpful to someone who has never bought a used car before and who may not know the first place to start. Below, in order of importance as I determined through my own experiences, but not necessarily chronological significance, is a used car buying checklist for your review.

Step 1: Determine what type of used car you are in the market for. At first glance the list seems endless, but if we stop and break it down we will be able to get a clear idea of at least what we don't want in a vehicle, consider your model options: car, truck, SUV, crossover, or maybe even a fast exotic sports car. Then take into consideration the size and purpose of the vehicle by asking yourself a series of questions: Will I benefit from a coupe or sedan? Is it for the family or for the off-road adventurer in you? Will you need four-wheel drive, a convertible or hardtop, or a convertible hardtop, or perhaps ask yourself if a sunroof will satisfy your desire to be free and feel the wind in your hair.

Step 2: The next step is to further evaluate the purpose of your next vehicle and why you are making the new purchase in the first place. One way to do this evaluation is to question its priority in your lifestyle: Is the car going to be your primary vehicle or a second, weekend car. This is important because if you will be relying on the car to get you to work on time everyday, then you want to make sure it is a reliable make and model. If you need the car just for nice weather cruising days, then a less reliable recreational vehicle could be an option.

Step 3: Once you have decided on the specifics you want in a car (size, shape, make, model, purpose, etc.) get an insurance quote on it to see if you can afford the insurance. It is easy to think, sure we can afford the car of our dreams by cutting back here and tweaking things there, but don't forget there is more to a car's cost than just the price. For instance, consider if the car is a gas-guzzler or a type of vehicle that saves gas and is more energy efficient, such as a hybrid or a complete electronic vehicle, which may also have their own expenses that need to be taken into consideration.

Additionally, the particular car you choose may need to be repaired far more often than others and that will be an additional cost to you every time something goes wrong and the car breaks down, not to mention you will be without a car while it is being fixed. On a similar note, to replace a car's parts and pay for maintenance on the vehicle when something does go wrong is costly no matter what, but it is important to note that not all cars are created equal and the price to repair some cars are far greater than others. Generally speaking, what I have found to be true is that the more expensive the car, the more expensive the car's parts that may need to be replaced, and consequently the more costly the repair itself will be as well. So before making your used car purchase realize that you may be able to afford a corvette but the insurance (and repairs) on a car of that nature may be too high for your pocket book to handle and a simple insurance quote will give you peace of mind.

Step 4: Perhaps next it would be best to determine what type of vehicles, based on the criteria you are searching, are the best used car buys. The reason for this is because some cars age better than others, so depending on how old and used the car that you have in mind is may determine the shape and condition of the car. Just be aware that an eight-year-old car of one make and model may be in great condition, whereas another make or model of the same age may just be more prone to deterioration or wear and tear and not hold up to your expectations as well.

Step 5: Once you decide on the type of car you want based on your personal requirements, the next step is to check your local listings to find the best deal in your area. This can be done by simply comparing what used cars are available to you at this time, either as listed in the newspaper, in a used car lot, online including Edmunds, Nada, local news paper site, Craigslist and used cars websites.

Step 6: Once you find a car one of the only things left to do is to check it out in person to see if the chosen vehicle meets your expectations both visually and performance wise. Plan to go test drive the car at a time of day when the traffic is low so that you are not struck in traffic, but rather have the "open road" to bring it up to full speed. Weekends are usually best.

Step 7: When going to look at the vehicle in person remember there are a couple things you can do to ensure the best results. Firstly, use the buddy system - don't go it alone because it is always best to have a second unbiased opinion of someone you trust. Secondly, don't bring your checkbook in order to avoid making an impulse buy. Things can get carried away and our emotions begin to take over our mind's logical decision making once the adrenalin kicks in from the overload of excitement, which don't fool yourself, will surely come with buying a new vehicle. Third and lastly, do be sure to bring your license with you when looking at the used car in person, that way you will actually be able to test-drive the vehicle without any legal restrictions or complications, along with anything else you may need to drive, such as prescription driving or sunglasses.

Step 8: Simulate the conditions of your normal driving patterns. Go on the highway and take the car up to 65 mph. Turn off the radio before you begin driving. Also make sure to inspect for all dents, dings and scratches before taking final delivery.

Source: EzineArticles
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