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What are Some Tips for Buying a Used Car on a Budget?

Buying anything nowadays can be such a hassle. Let’s face it, that’s just the type of world we live in. Let’s go back to when we could get ice cream cones for cents and eggs under 10 dollars… If only. The reality is buying a used car is the most popular it’s ever been within the last couple of years, and there are tips to buy a used car on a budget we would like to share with you! Why you, you may ask? Because you deserve to know, get educated on the subject, and well because there’s a little something called human kindness!

Why Buy a Used Car?

Buying brand new is not always glitz and glamor. Buying new means a lot of different things buyers do not even think of, let’s explore. Used vehicles don’t go down in value as much over time. Used cars can be dependable, and save you money on vehicle registrations, insurance, and maintenance.

Tips to Buy a Used Car if You are On a Budget

Of course, buying a used car comes with risks as with buying a new car. A new vehicle can have as many problems as a used vehicle, so we want to set the record straight. Purchasing anything comes with risk! That’s why you need to do your research before buying a used vehicle. These tips will help to steer you in the right direction.

1. Budget and Stay Along The Lines

Budgeting is important when you are considering making a big purchase. You should not spend more than 10% of your take-home pay on your monthly auto loan payment. So if your after-tax pay each month is $3,000, you could afford a $300 car payment. In a perfect world, the 20/3/8 car buying rule says you should put 20% down, pay off your car loan in three years (36 months), and spend no more than 8% of your pretax income on car financing.

2. Shop Used and Figure Out The Value

The easiest thing to do is to head to Kelley Blue Book, NADA, Autotrader, CarGurus, and others. Enter your VIN, mileage, and vehicle condition, and the site delivers an approximate value.

3. Inspect The Used Car and Test Drive

When you are interested in purchasing a used car, check the body condition, open doors,

check the gaps in the body panels, test the shock absorbers, Inspect the tires, turn on all of the lights, and do not forget to check under the hood. Test driving can be an advantage for both the customer and the seller. The customer knows what he or she is getting and the seller isn’t responsible for anything after the purchase.

4. Questions To Ask Yourself Before The Purchase

  • Does the engine sound smooth when you accelerate?
  • Does the engine rattle, knock or grind when you idle?
  • Does black smoke come out when you start the car?
  • Use the AC, do you smell burning oil?

5. Use Negotiation Skills

If you have good reasons to believe the seller should lower the asking price, after asking yourself the questions above, you can use everything you’ve just learned about the car in question to negotiate a better deal. The most important thing to remember is that negotiating a car’s price is a business transaction. You want to buy a vehicle; they want to sell you a vehicle. Keeping your emotions in check will help you get the best deal.

Don’t Overspend on a Used Car if You are On a Budget

It’s easy to overspend on a used car, especially as the market continues to shift. But, it is important to stick to your budget! Don’t feel obligated to keep up with the Jones’s and get a fancy car. It is okay to live within your means!

I Want The Used Car, Now What?

Let the seller know you want it! Go through the paperwork, and be sure to check all of the numbers to ensure no extra fees have been slipped into the deal. If you see a fee or charge you don’t understand, question it and demand it is removed. By withholding your signature until all of the documents are satisfactory, you retain your ability to walk away from a bad deal. We wish you the best in your journey of buying a used car on a budget! The end goal is to save money but get a great deal, we hope these tips help you be successful. You got this!

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