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Smart Decisions: Tips for Buying Your Next Used Car

If you are thinking about buying a used car in the next few months, then take some time to plan for this important purchase. For most of us a car is the second most expensive item that we will ever buy. A good online directory can point you to car dealerships that you didn’t know existed and give buying opportunities that you’d otherwise have missed. Here you can check used car dealers in your area.

If you follow our top tops you are sure to buy a car that you can afford, from a good seller and be happy for several years.


1. Set your budget

Even if you have your mind set upon a particular type of car you won’t be able to buy it if you can’t afford it. As a rule of thumb don’t spend more than about 25% of your monthly income on your car – this should include ALL the costs such as fuel, servicing, insurance as well as any finance payments.


2. Buying used is a great choice!

Because these days so many new cars are leased there are always many lease returns available. These cars are about 3 years old, often current models and can be purchased with good warranties. This means that you will get the best deal when you buy used – especially if you buy a CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) car.

You might pay a slightly higher rate of interest and have a slightly shorter warranty but your monthly costs will be much lower when buying a ‘new used’ car.


3. Be selective BEFORE you go shopping

Before you go out looking at cars you should research the brands and models that interest you. Make sure that your ideas fit your budget, check manufacturers websites and user forums for more information and then check with online directories to see what inventory is available to you in your area.


4. Financing at the dealership is not always the best deal

Although dealer financing can sometimes look very attractive only about 10% of car buyers qualify for the best ‘headline’ rates that you see advertised. You will likely be offered a less good deal than you expected. Check out bank or credit union financing options before you go to visit a dealer!


5. Take your time with the test drive

When you have done your research then it is time to get on the phone and call the dealerships you’d like to visit and arrange for test drives with either the fleet manager or the Internet manager. When you are driving the cars don’t be strong armed into taking a short drive at low speeds. Make sure that you take the car onto different types of roads so that you understand how the car handles on all road surfaces and traffic types.

When you have decided which car to buy be ready to say a firm ‘NO!’ to the extras that you will be offered. Be ready to go home to consider your decision so that you don’t make a choice that you will regret each month until the finance is paid off!

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