The purchase of a used car can be an overwhelming experience. Whether it is a car, truck, or commercial vehicle, knowledge is key for making this big decision. The more knowledge you can gain about the vehicle, the better you will feel about the end decision. Layton Carcare understands the importance of a reliable vehicle. We have some points to help ease your mind. Here are some steps to follow that will make the process smoother.
Find the Model For You
Set a Budget
A budget will help narrow down what vehicles you can afford. Ask yourself if you will be paying cash for your vehicle or will you be making a payment? Not sure of how to calculate how much you can afford. Try using this CalculatorSoup Online Calculator.
Determine your needs vs wants
Is your heart set on a vehicle model? Have you been dreaming of a specific vehicle? Finding a vehicle model that best fits your needs is a very important component of making this decision. Needs are predominant, wants are secondary. Being set on a vehicle you want can lead you to disregard the condition of a wanted vehicle no matter how bad. This can also blind you from seeing other models that may suit your needs better. When purchasing a vehicle, new or used, emotions should not rule the decision-making process. Write 2 separate lists, needs and wants. Set your emotions aside and focus on your needs.
Consider secondary model options
After you have determined what vehicle best fits your needs and budget, determine the runner-up vehicle. Having a second vehicle model in mind can help keep yourself open-minded and prevents you from being headstrong on one vehicle that may not be found. Do not discard other vehicle models and makes.
Weigh the Costs of Ownership
Even though a vehicle is affordable to buy, the cost of owning this vehicle may be over budget. Ask yourself:
- Does this vehicle need auto repair?
- How much will fuel cost?
- How much will this vehicle cost to insure?
- How will this vehicle depreciate?
Test Drive Ready
Once you have found the vehicle for you, it is time to see the vehicle in person. Set up a test drive and be ready to gain as much information as possible.
Thoroughly Inspect the Interior and Exterior
Do not overlook the details.
This may seem obvious to inspect the interior and exterior of the vehicle but some areas are overlooked by the buyer because they have fallen in love with the vehicle model, ignoring the flaws and damage. It is a good idea to have a trustworthy friend help with vehicle judgment and evaluation. They can steer you clear of damaged vehicles and can keep your head clear. Your friend should be fully aware of your needs, wants, and budget even once you have determined the model for you.
Areas To Check:
- Exterior body condition. Be aware of rusting, scratches, holes, dents, ect.
- Head and tail lights work.
- Whildshiled cracks and chips
- Engine bay, including the all parts. Listen to the vehicle running.
- Interior cleanliness
- Seat conditions
- Dash and buttons
- Cargo space
How Well Does it Drive?
Test the Functionallity.
When taking the vehicle for a drive, drive it the way you would daily. It is wise to drive on a variety of roads with different speed limits. If you drive on highways with high speeds, you should consider taking the vehicle on the highway. Try driving in stop-and-go traffic. Experiment with the heat and air conditioning function, ensuring it works properly if that is important to you. Turn the radio volume down to gain a true understanding of the engine’s condition while running. Open your ears and eliminate noise obstructions.
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
Purchasing a vehicle can be a big decision. Take in as much information as possible before making this decision. Ask the seller questions. Listing out the vehicle’s pros and cons can help declutter your mind and give yourself a clear conscience.
Questions to ask the Seller:
- Why are you selling?
- Are you the original owner?
- How many miles are on the odometer?
- Do you have the vehicle’s service records?
- Does the vehicle have any accident or damage history?
- Does the vehicle have any special features?
Get a Second Opionion
Do not make any hasty decisions! It is wise to ponder the choice and even get a second opinion. Having a mechanic inspect the vehicle is a smart decision to ensure there are no issues with how it performs. At Layton Carcare we will perform a complimentary “pre-purchase inspection. Taking the time to drive over and visit us would be a good idea. We have performed hundreds of these inspections in our 36 years in business. Getting a professional inspection can help steer you away from large, costly repairs in the future and time in the shop.