5 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Car

Couple Buying Used Car at Dealership in Houston, TX

There are many advantages to purchasing a used car instead of a new one, though the motivation for many to buy used involves the price point. Car shoppers can often find lightly used, well-appointed cars for significantly less than a comparable new model. While it’s true that buying a used car will allow you to save money while getting a quality vehicle with lots of upgraded features, there are some things you should consider before heading to a used car dealership that can ensure you get the car you need at the price you can afford.
While there are some obvious things to consider such as your budget and the desirable mileage on a car, there are other factors that may be important to examine when making a car purchase. Many of these factors may not spring to mind, but they are nonetheless important in your search for a quality used car that will fit your financial and lifestyle needs. Learn more about these considerations so that you are prepared when you begin your shopping with used car dealers in Houston, TX.

Think Long-Term on the Cost

When shopping for a used car, it’s important to think about all the secondary costs that will go into the purchase. Many people do the math and only consider the cost of the car or the monthly payments when deciding what fits into the allotted budget. However, used cars sometimes come with additional costs that must be factored into the equation. When you buy a new car, you’ll have an extended warranty that will cover many vehicle repairs, and in some cases, even routine maintenance. While there are used car dealers that offer those perks, not all do. When they’re offered, the tenure may not be as long as the warranties on new cars. That means that when you buy a used car, you should include maintenance costs and potential repair expenses when deciding how much you can afford.

Think About Your Lifestyle

Another important factor to consider when selecting a used car is what type of vehicle will best fit your lifestyle. Features and amenities vary widely from car to car, so it’s possible to find the perfect car for your needs if you know exactly what those needs are. For example, if you want to keep your fuel budget to a minimum, you shouldn’t buy a large SUV that will guzzle gas. However, if you routinely haul your family and friends for outings, the extra money spent on gas may not be a problem in exchange for the extra passenger capacity a large SUV provides. If you like to take your dogs with you everywhere you go, a small roadster may not be optimal for your lifestyle. But if you’re a single person with a fancy for driving solo, maybe a two-seater is exactly what you want. The idea of a convertible may sound nice, but if you rarely even roll down the windows in your current car then it may not make sense for you.

Do Your Research

One benefit of buying a used car that has nothing to do with price is the fact that if there were recalls or known issues with a model, you’ll likely know about it in advance. Do plenty of research on the models you’re considering to determine if there have been recalls or common malfunctions that could give you problems. If you discover those issues, make sure to ask the seller if they have been handled. Read plenty of consumer literature and reviews, as you’ll likely see both the good and bad of every make and model on the market by doing so. Take that into consideration when selecting a car and be prepared to ask plenty of questions of the seller. Ask for a vehicle inspection and car history report as well, as any positive and negative records will be visible there.
Car odometer

Mileage to Age Ratio

A car that has just been used for routine purposes by a private individual will accrue about 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year. Make sure that you use that guide when searching for cars rather than just focusing on the age or mileage. For example, a car with 50,000 miles may be considered a low-mileage buy until you consider that it’s only a year old. Likewise, if a car has 120,000 miles but is 11 years old, it’s actually been lightly used and may offer a great value. Also, an older car with low miles may fit your need because of its lower price and remaining lifespan, but it may lack some of the modern features and amenities you desire. Therefore, you may be willing to sacrifice a little longevity in the interest of updated features. Decide what’s important to you and choose accordingly.

Make a Checklist

It’s easy to get caught up in sales pitches and the excitement that a used car purchase can bring. Therefore, it’s important to keep yourself grounded throughout the buying process. One way to do that is by creating a used car checklist before visiting a dealer. Write down features, gas mileage requirements, costs, vehicle colors, and desired makes and models. You can even include a few bullet points documenting the points upon which you can be flexible, and which ones are rigid. That will help keep you on track and prevent you from being distracted.
If you’re in the market for a used car, make sure to think about these factors before you even begin shopping. By considering these matters, you can increase your chances of finding the perfect car for your lifestyle and budget. To begin your search for a used car, contact Bemer Motor Cars at (713) 266-2690.

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