Finding the best used car at the right price is sometimes challenging, especially if you don’t know where to look or how to go about finding one. With the global supply chain issues, we barely have the opportunity to search for good and reliable used cars.
Formerly, car buyers would toss out the thought of buying used cars because they were afraid of buying lemons and ending up with damaged vehicles.
Now, with the tips that will be shared in this article, you will be able to walk into any dealership and purchase a reliable vehicle.
Buying a used car: How to Find the Best Used Car at the Right Price
1. Fuel economy
The fuel economy of a vehicle is the distance a vehicle travels with a given amount of fuel. It is expressed in terms of distance traveled per unit volume of fuel consumed.
A used car with a higher fuel economy will cover more distance per full tank. This means that with less fuel and lower costs, the vehicle can travel further and effectively reduce the buyer’s carbon footprint.
While you are on the search for the best used car, have a look at the fuel economy of the car.
This way, you will know the mpg ratings for city or highway driving and also the combined mpg.
How? You can find a vehicle’s fuel economy with a window sticker or a vehicle history report.
A used car history report is a document that shows the history of a vehicle. With a vehicle history report, you can determine the damages a vehicle has sustained, including accident history, theft history, and others.
Also included is the fuel economy. This information can also be found on a window sticker.
A window sticker is a label that highlights the vehicle’s specifications, fuel economy, interior and exterior features, and other information.
With a window sticker or a used car report, you can determine the fuel economy, purchase the best used car at the right price, save some money, and reduce climate change.
2. Satisfaction score
Reading reviews and ratings from owners of the vehicle you are interested in will help as a guide to choosing the best used car at a dealership.
The satisfaction score is a measure of customer satisfaction across different brands and different models.
Knowing the overall satisfaction and performance of a vehicle would push you in the right direction and help you find the best used car at the right price.
3. Reliability score
A reliable vehicle is less likely to have unplanned breakdowns and defects. These vehicles are what you should keep an eye on.
You should think of reliable car brands and models when you visit any dealership, as they are more likely to function properly with minimal problems compared to others.
Buying a good vehicle with a perfect reliability score helps to save money on repairs and maintenance, and they usually have longer lifespans, low depreciation, and higher resale values.
READ ALSO: 5 most reliable Chevrolet Silverado models
4. Safety systems
In cars, safety systems are introduced to protect the driver and other occupants in the event of a crash or accident.
These safety systems are installed to reduce injuries and damages in the case of an unforeseen event.
Make sure to look at the safety and security systems available and check the NHTSA ratings of any vehicle you are interested in. These ratings and safety systems can be easily seen on a window sticker.
As earlier mentioned, with a window sticker, you can be sure of the vehicle’s specifications, fuel economy, interior and exterior features, safety ratings, safety features, etc.
If the dealer doesn’t provide one for you, then it is recommended that you get a well-detailed window sticker from Detailed Vehicle History.
Now that you have put these factors into consideration, there are some other tips that will help any buyer find the best used car at the right price at any dealership.
Tips on how to find the best used car at the right price
To find the best used car in the used-car market, you must consider the reliability score, satisfaction score, fuel economy, and safety systems.
After putting the aforementioned factors into consideration, there are some steps you can take and tips you must follow to get a reliable vehicle at the right price, and you could even get discounts and used car specials. These tips are
- Have a clear budget.
- Do your research.
- Inspect the car properly.
- Get a vehicle history report.
a. Have a clear budgetBefore stepping into that dealership, make sure you have a clear budget, and you must stick to it. This budget is usually dependent on your car needs. Determine what you will be using the vehicle for most of the time; this will help you to draft a budget. One of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing used cars is not having a clear budget. Make sure you have a clear budget before visiting the dealership or manufacturer. Decide how much you want to spend on a car, including the purchase price and any additional expenses like fuel or taxes. When shopping for a car, having a set spending limit makes it easier to narrow down your selections and look at vehicles that you can truly afford.
b. Do your researchNot doing any research on car brands, models, and prices before visiting the showroom is another error that many car purchasers make. Most consumers simply rush to the dealership and expect to find the perfect car at the perfect price. Conduct a thorough analysis of the various car manufacturers and models. Be sure to read the evaluations and reviews left by professionals and other car owners. Choose the best model by comparing the vehicle’s specifications among several models and trims. Read about recalls and other problems with the various models. By doing this, you’ll be able to identify reliable and unreliable vehicles. Also, research on the fair market value, reliability score, and satisfaction score. This information will definitely push you in the right direction to find the best used car at the right price. READ ALSO: When Will Used Car Prices Drop? Few Things Car Shoppers Should Know
c. Inspect the car properlyA thorough car inspection is another tip that you must take seriously if you want the best value for your money. This inspection should be done by a professional mechanic if possible. Professional mechanics are the best when it comes to pre-purchase inspections. They know the best places to look and can easily spot defects through the car’s noises and vibrations; they can spot dents, wear and tear, and corrosion in metal parts, batteries and engines, and other car parts. An inspection also goes with a test drive. With a test drive, you get to feel the vehicle and check its comfortability. Closely observing the seatbelts, seats, steering, brakes, and other parts would help you decide if the vehicle is good enough for you or not.
d. NegotiateIf you are looking for a good price, then you must negotiate with the dealer or private seller properly. Don’t just agree with the starting price. That value is negotiable with most dealers. Knowing the fair market value of the vehicle you are interested in will help you negotiate properly. To get the best prices, it is recommended that you begin negotiations with an amount that is 10–25% of the asking price. This way, you will end up with a good vehicle at an affordable price.
e. Get a Vehicle History ReportAs earlier mentioned, a vehicle history report is a document that tells the backstory of a vehicle. If you would like to discover accurate odometer readings, theft history, accident history, damage history, auction history with photos, safety systems, vehicle specifications, service history, maintenance history, and more, then you would have to purchase a vehicle history report. They are usually affordable, and you can get them from vehicle history report companies such as Detailed Vehicle History, Premium VIN, Instant VIN Reports, and Vehicles Report, among others.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to determine the value of a used car and its actual worth is through research. There are several marketplaces online where you can find information on the value of used cars; there are also platforms like Kelly Blue Book where you may find valuation guides. You can also find out the value of a used car by visiting several dealerships.
To find the absolute best price on a new car, all you need to do is have a clear budget, do your research, inspect the car properly, go for a test drive, get a vehicle history report, and negotiate. Following these steps, you will be able to find the best used car at the right price. Look out for discounts and used car specials too.
The most reliable car brand today is Toyota. They are known for their high reliability and safety systems. Other reliable car brands are Lexus, Kia, Honda, Buick, Mazda, Hyundai, Genesis, etcetera.