How to Save Money When Buying a Used Car

Buying a car, in general, can create a bit of anxiety in the most composed of personalities. Buying a used car, however, can create fear, paranoia, and low self-esteem. Don’t let purchasing a used car get you down. There are ways to make this a simple and rewarding activity. Stay calm and read on.


One of the first things any car buyer should do is to decide what kind of vehicle he wants; what he is going to use the vehicle for; and how much money he is going to be willing to spend. Depending on the type of automobile you decide on, remember to be flexible on your choices. Sometimes, in the used car industry, you have to settle on less than you would like to. Of course, always keep in mind that, when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle caveat emptor – let the buyer beware!

Once you settle on the type, model, year of vehicle you are going to look for, research that car type and compare pricing. This will mean searching in eBay, Craigslist, the newspaper, used car lots, and used car internet sites. The more you know about what others are asking for the car you want to buy; the more informed you are, the better the chances that you will not let emotions get the best of you. In other words, when you are knowledgeable, there is less of a danger that you will be hoodwinked.

Many banks and loaning institutions have monthly payment calculators online. Use those so that you can be prepared and stay within the budget you have allotted for this purpose. Before you actually begin shopping, get an idea of what types and years of used cars your bank is willing to loan you money to purchase. Some banks have well-established guidelines concerning these limitations.

Once you are ready to actually take a look at some available cars, get all the info you can on each particular vehicle. The more information you have, the easier it will be to complete your own check on the car by using CarFax or other companies. You will need the Vehicle Identification Number which is usually on the driver’s side on the windshield. These findings will expose information you will want to know like flood damage, collision info, and whether or not the car has been identified as “salvage”.

You will always want to test drive the car, but since this is a private sale there are a few precautionary steps that should be taken. For example, take a friend with you. Two sets of eyes are better than one, and you have a buddy, just in case. During the test drive, listen for noises; get a sense of how the tires seem to be performing; be aware of how the brakes are functioning; and after the drive, open the hood and take a look at the engine. Even if you do not know much about what goes on “under the hood”, sometimes jumbled wiring, or excess grease can tell you volumes. If looking for vehicles via private party methods does not workout, an excellent option is to contact cash for cars companies. They often are able to sell cars for less then a dealership.

Take every cautious action you can before buying. You need time to consider this purchase. If the seller seems impatient or insistent, walk away, this is not the vehicle you should buy. Purchasing a used car can be a chore, or it can be done easily. With the right preparation and the correct mindset, you will be able to find the right automobile for yourself and your wallet.