Used cars have a lower price tag and depreciate at a much lower rate than new cars. With used cars, you also potentially avoid paying taxes, DMV fees and other random fees associated with a new ride. If done properly, buying a new car will save you thousands and get you a highly reliable set of wheels. Here are 5 great tips guaranteed to help you find and purchase quality used cars in lakeland fl that will give you maximum value for your money.
1. Determine your budget.
Before taking any active steps analyze your savings and determine how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re thinking of taking a loan consider the monthly payments you’re willing to make. As a rule of thumb, if you’re thinking of applying for a car loan, your monthly payments should not be more than 20 percent of your monthly salary. Just as important is to determine how much you’re prepared to set aside as a monthly “emergency” fund to cover the costs of unexpected repairs. In short, do your financial homework and set a strict budget based on your monthly pay and stick with it.
2. Short list used car models based on your budget.
Start online shopping for used cars Lakeland FL, visiting dealerships, perusing through car magazines and even seeking recommendations from friends and family for a ride based on your budget. Have a list of “must-have” features for the car you want to have. Research the top brands and check out what previous owners had to say about used cars from different car makers. If you’re ready to make a one-time cash payment be a little flexible. Adding a few thousands on top of what you initially set aside might benefit you considerably in the long run. Once you’ve shortlisted a few cars that interest you and are within your financial range you can now move on to the third step.
3. Wait for the best time to buy.
Assuming you’re buying from a dealership, you can slash significant costs by choosing to wait and purchase at the “right” time. This can be during the holidays or near the end of a financial quarter. Many car salesmen in dealerships have targets they’re required to meet in order to make bonuses. As the end of the financial quarter approaches they’ll be more willing to compromise and you can get an attractive offer. Also consider the seasons. To get the best deal for a summer car consider buying it during the winter when the demand is very low and vice-versa. You can also consider visiting auctions during off-peak periods. Fewer bidders make it easier to spend significantly less on used cars.
4. Go through the car’s history report.
Assuming you’ve found the car of your dreams at a bargain price always ask for a detailed history of the car especially if you’re buying from a used cars lakeland fl dealership. It’s just as important to request for one if you’re also buying from a friend or a family member to avoid unnecessary conflicts in the future. The car’s history will help you be psychologically and financially prepared for the re-occurrence of any mishaps that have happened in the past no matter how rare. This will also help you avoid potential rip-offs. Two of the best sources for car history reports are Carfax and Autocheck. In most cases the license plate number will get you all the information you need. Sometimes a vehicle identification number will be required.
5. Arrange an inspection.
Most used cars Lakeland FL dealerships offer mechanically sound cars. However, to avoid getting a bad deal from unscrupulous dealers it is wise to bring your own mechanic to inspect the car before parting with your cash. A thorough inspection will reveal any hidden problems that might result in costly repairs in the future. This is a smart investment and a good way to save you money in the long haul. Don’t look for the cheapest inspection service around. A visual inspection is not enough. Look for a comprehensive one! If you’re not sure where to find quality inspection mechanics search the internet for used car Lakeland FL inspection mechanics. The most reputable own shops where they disassemble the car and closely examine all the vital parts. You’re paying top dollar. It’s important you don’t waste your money on a car that will eventually become a nightmare.