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Used Car Buying Guide

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Used Auto

To most people a car is the second most expensive purchase they will ever make after their home. So it pays to do a little research before you spend your hard earned dollars on the car of your dreams. With that in mind here are 5 things to think about before buying your next used auto.

1. Know How Much Your Current Car is Worth.

Not knowing the current value of your trade-in puts you at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to negotiating on the price of a new vehicle. If the salesman suspects that you’re not aware of the value of your car he’ll be sure to take advantage.

There really is no excuse for this today; you have all the tools available at your finger tips to carry out this basic research. Simply go to or to find the current value of your vehicle, remember to take the current millage and condition into account. Now you can go into battle fully armed with all the information you need.

2. Find Out Which Type of Car is best For You.

It’s all too easy to focus on one particular make or model of car, either because that’s all you know and trust or because you’re not aware of the alternative models available.

Always try to establish the type of car you want, for example do you want a saloon or a mini van. Then have a look around the market and look at all the different models available. If you get hung up on just one make of car, not only is your choice severely limited but you’re likely to pay over the odds for it when you find the perfect example.

3. Arrange Your Finance Beforehand.

You may not be aware of this but a car dealer makes a significant amount of his income from selling finance. He has you there as a captive audience and is unlikely to offer you the best rate available, for the simple reason the higher the rate, the more commission he gets.

So always arrange your finance beforehand. There are many good deals available even at the moment, so shop around. It could save you thousands in the long run.

4. Make Sure You Do a Thorough Test Drive.

Never ever buy a used car without giving it a proper test drive. By that I don’t mean driving it around the block a couple of times. You need to test it on a number of different roads and freeways.

Even take it home and make sure the family can fit inside comfortably. If the dealer won’t let you have a through test drive walk away and buy from someone else. It’s going to be your car for the next few years so make sure you can live with it everyday.

5. Not having the car inspected by a qualified mechanic.

I have left the most important until last. Never buy a car without having it fully inspected by a qualified mechanic. Don’t trust the dealer on this one get an independent report.

Take the car away and get a written report on the cars mechanical condition. Again if the dealer won’t let you it’s likely because he’s got something to hide, so no matter how much you want the car, don’t let your heart control your head and walk away.

Follow these five simple steps when you purchase your next used auto and you won’t go far wrong.

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