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Top 3 Things to Know Before Buying a Used Car

posted by Chris Valentine

Buying a car is a big decision that should be taken with a lot of caution. A car is not something you can easily change, like a shirt, just because you are tired of it or it does not fit. Cars represent much more than just a vehicle. They represent you and your lifestyle. Owning a car means you will drive around in it and people will form opinions about you from that car before you even step out of it. Your car, in most cases, is your first impression. It is very important to make that first impression count.

Most importantly your car could either help you or break you. Buyers have two options when deciding what type of car to buy – used or new –, which depend on the buyer’s lifestyle. The safer option, of course, is to buy a new car. It requires less effort, less maintenance, more choices, and it comes with the latest upgrades, desired colours, and new features.

Used cars, however, are the more popular option. Buyers going for used smart cars need to consider these top three things before making any commitment to get a car they intend to keep for years.

Know the exact car you want and stick to it

Before stepping into any dealership, a buyer should make all their major decisions at home. One of those decisions are to know the exact car you want. This includes the type of car (for example a pick-up or a sedan), which brand (BMW or Mercedes Benz), the make, the model, the colour, the features, etc.

Car sales representatives are trained in the art of selling; the typical buyer is not. An unprepared buyer might end up buying a used car they do not really like. Once bought, they get stuck with it and become unhappy with themselves and the dealer.

The smart buyer will begin their research online. Most car dealerships have websites. Buyers looking for used smart cars, specifically, can check the Sandown-Group website to have an idea of the price range and other options out there.

Figure out your budget range

Once you have determined the exact car you want, determine what you are willing to pay for. Have your own price range and stick to it. Patience is especially a virtue when it comes to buying a car. Shop around for any dealership that offers your price range, and take all the time you need before making a decision.

Check the car history

When you find a dealership that has the exact car you want that fits into your budget, the next thing to do before negotiating is to go through the car history. Used cars have been passed down from one or more owners. Check to see what repairs keep recurring and ask why. This will help you avoid any surprises in the future.

It is usually stressful to shop around for a car to get a good deal, but it does not have to be so. Spend a little more time in the research phase at home before visiting any dealership. These three things could save you thousands of pounds in purchase and in future maintenance.

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