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Buying A Used Car: Assessing Your Needs


If you are buying a used car, you probably want to save some money. This means that you need to prioritize what is most important to you in a car. This article will help you assess your needs and your wants, so that you can find a car that suits you perfectly.

Cost

Look at the cost of a car. There is no point in window shopping at fully-loaded $40,000 trucks if you will only be able to afford a $4,000 truck in the first place. When you are establishing your budget for your car, be sure to account for how much the insurance will likely be, how much gas you will be spending (although this figure does change, it is best to go in having at least an idea), and regular maintenance. To budget for maintenance, you will need estimate the costs of 4 oil changes a year, plus some extra money just in case. Used cars are, well, used: they arenít new are generally not under warranty. If you want a warranty, consider buying a used car from the dealership, who can often offer warranties even on used vehicles.

Suitability

What kind of driving do you do? You probably donít need a four-wheel drive behemoth of an SUV if you do mostly city driving. Conversely, if you live on a gravel road, you might feel more comfortable driving in winter if you have something larger than a neon. For most drivers, the way that you drive a car will mean that you are open to many options. However, if this is a limiting factor, it is important to take into consideration.

If you are a commuter, then you will have to take other factors into consideration. You might not want to buy a car with a very high mileage, because you will be adding the miles to that odometer. You might want to find a car that has very comfortable seats to make your ride go better. Things that could be less important, like the stereo, become much more important when you spend a lot of time in your car each day.

Look

Some people would rather have a car that looks good or prestigious. Itís okay to admit that you are one of those people. For instance, for $3,500 you might be able to buy a 6 year old Honda civic; this same money could also buy you a much older BMW. If you value appearances, donít lie to yourself when you are shopping. You want to get a car that you will love, and thereís no point looking at Ford Focuses if the only thing that will spark your delight is a Ford Mustang.

Load

How many people do you normally travel with? What is the most number of people that you have taken in your current car at once? If you donít already have a car, estimate the number of people you will have with you on a regular basis. If you only drive around 7 people during the hockey tournament once a year, you can probably skip buying a minivan. However, if you normally drive three people around, it might be a pain to get a two door vehicle. For truck drivers, you will want to consider the amount of load that you generally put in the back of your truck to help you judge your purchase.

Your Loan

Not only do you want to get the right car, you want to get the right car loan. It is wiser to have your financing lined up before you go to a dealership. You can set up used car loans at any bank: but one often overlooked type of used car loan is to go to a credit union, where you can generally get lower interest than at a major bank. For more information on loans, (and we wonít even try to sell you a loan!) visit www.theguideto-carloans.com.

In the End

You will be the one driving. Make the decisions based on your needs and what you feel is right. Though it is great to get lots of advice (and sometimes it helps to take someone savvy about mechanics along with you to check out the car), considering these facts will help make you capable of choosing the right car.

Submitted by:

Andrew Dillan

Andrew Dillan is the editor of http://www.theguideto-carloans.com/used_car_loans. He is an automotive enthusiast, who currently drives a used car of his own. Find out about how to finance your car, boat, motorcycle, or RV from his information-only site.





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