Friday, December 8, 2023

How To Purchase A Used Car

Don't Miss

Title Transfer Procedures For A Used Car

How to Buy a Used Car for $300 (Runs and Drives)

When you actually purchase the vehicle, you’ll need your signature and the seller’s signature on the title with the date.

  • If there are multiple names on the title, you’ll need their signatures, too.
  • If they aren’t available, don’t buy the car. The seller needs to come with a clean title.

Be sure to record the odometer reading on the title at the time of sale. If there’s no bill of sale, you must also generally record the sale price on the title document.

Some states Ohio and Pennsylvania, for example may require a public notary to sign off on the transfer of the title.

Research Which Used Car Is Best For You

Youll need to find out which vehicles meet both your needs and budget. A good place to start the process is right here on The Car Research section on contains a treasure trove of information on vehicles from previous model years, including detailed reviews, fuel economy ratings and how much those cars are being sold for right now.

Research Used Cars and learn more about New vs. Used Cars.

Kelley Blue Book Value

The Kelley Blue Book, or KBB, is a century-old automotive pricing system that’s widely used to set fair market value for used vehicles. It’s important to know that the typical dealer asking price listed in the KBB assumes that the vehicle is in mint condition with a clear title.

In general, you should never pay the KBB value on a used vehicle, but this value can serve as a starting point when negotiating your purchase price.

Don’t Miss: Club Car Year Identification

Buying From A Distance

Online car-buying sites have given buyers access to thousands of vehicles they might never have found otherwise, but purchasing a car located far away can bring a number of potential problems. These might include out-and-out fraud, payment issues, paperwork difficulties and, critically, the inability to see the vehicle in person before committing to the sale. Here’s where a presale inspection can help.

If you find a car you like in another part of the country, you should, of course, ask to see a lot of close-up photographs and get a vehicle history report. But a professional inspection will provide an important extra level of insurance that you’re not buying a pack of trouble. And arranging an inspection that will take place elsewhere isn’t that difficult.

Obviously, it isn’t a great idea to rely on the seller to choose the person who will perform the inspection. If you know someone in the area where the car is located, you can ask them to recommend a reliable mechanic. Failing that, a dealership that sells that model of vehicle can generally be trusted to provide an accurate assessment. And if you’re the one ordering and paying for the inspection, the report should come directly to you and not through the seller.

Get A Vehicle History Report

Awesome Looking for A Car to Buy

If you have one specific vehicle in mind thats for sale from a dealership or private seller, its a good idea to check its history. A vehicle history report is derived from the cars vehicle identification number and will let you know if it has been involved in an accident, has a clean title, or other issues.

Vehicle history reports are available from Carfax and AutoCheck, and some listings will include it free. If youre seriously considering a vehicle for sale from a private seller, getting a history report is an especially good idea to head off potential problems or sticking points.

You May Like: How Much Does A Car Salesman Make Per Car

How To Buy A Used Car

This article was co-authored by Bryan Hamby. Bryan Hamby is the owner of Auto Broker Club, a trusted auto brokerage in Los Angeles, California. He founded Auto Broker Club in 2014 out of a passion for cars and a unique talent for customizing the car dealership process to be on the buyers side. With 1,400+ deals closed, and a 90% customer retention rate, Bryans focus is to simplify the car buying experience through transparency, fair pricing, and world class customer service.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 88% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 262,437 times.

Getting a new-to-you car can be exciting especially if you’re a first-time car buyer. It’s also a great choice if you want reliable transportation without spending a lot of money. At the same time, buying a used car can be frustrating, especially if you don’t like haggling, are on a limited budget, or don’t have much time to shop around. To stay in the driver’s seat, do a little research before looking at cars and have any car you want to buy inspected thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line.XResearch source

Mobile Or Garage Inspection

Many people will be faced with the choice of having a mobile inspector look at a car or taking the vehicle to a local mechanic. While the most important thing is getting a qualified inspection, each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

A mobile inspection is fast and convenient. The inspector comes to your or the seller’s home or office, performs the inspection on site, and prints out a report on the spot. Inspectors also photograph any damage, taking shots of the vehicle from different angles.

Inspections done by your local mechanic, or the service department of a dealership that sells that brand of car, are performed with more specialized equipment. For example, the inspector can put the car up on a lift and examine the underside for damage, fluid leaks and other irregularities.

Recommended Reading: How Much Mileage Is Too Much For A Used Car

Buying A Used Car Might Be The Ideal Route For You If Your Budget Is Limited Or You Want To Minimize Your Auto Loan

A used car typically costs less than a new one of the same kind, but it can still be a significant investment. The average price of a used car was $21,558 in July 2020, according to a report from Edmunds.

To find a good deal and loan terms, it helps to do some homework. Here are some of the key steps to take when you buy a used car.

  • Close the deal
  • Insurance Considerations When Buying Used Car In Ontario

    What is a Good Deal when Buying a Used Car? (How to Buy a Used Car)

    An often overlooked consideration when shopping for a used car is car insurance. Once you have an idea of the vehicle you are interested in purchasing, its always a good idea to speak with an advisor to find proper coverage.

    Then you will have an idea about how much it will cost in insure the vehicle, especially if its a vehicle that is very different from the make or model you normally drive.

    Knowing how much it costs to insure a vehicle when exploring your options allows you to get a better sense of the total cost of driving per month, something that can factor into your approach to negotiating.

    Read Also: 1-888-601-6302

    How Do You Negotiate When Buying A Used Car

    If youve found a car you want to purchase, its time to negotiate. Rule number one is to always negotiate. The asking price is very seldom the firm final price for the person selling a car. Its called an asking price for a reason.

    Here are some tips for negotiating :

    • Know the current market value of the vehicle : Use Kelly Blue Book, Auto Trader, and Canadian Black Book to get a good idea of how much you should pay.
    • Consider value for the price : There may be other things such as the inclusion of winter tires, low mileage, wear and tear that will factor into the price.
    • Know your budget : Know your budget and stick to it. But this doesnt mean you have to tell the seller what your top dollar is during the negotiation.
    • Eliminate emotion : Negotiate based on logic and have confidence in your offer.
    • Dont be afraid to counter-offer : Negotiations are about going back and forth, so dont be afraid to counter any offer made by the seller.
    • Avoid making a rash decision : Always give yourself enough time to weigh your options and make a decision.
    • Be prepared to walk away : You have other options, and if the deal is not what you want, walk away. Never agree to a deal that makes you uncomfortable.

    Used Cars From Rental Companies

    There are a few things to consider when thinking about buying a former rental car. The companies do usually follow the recommended maintenance so the key components like the engine are probably in better condition than cars owned by private people. Cosmetically you may find more minor scrapes and dings especially around the trunk since people don’t seem to be able to lift their luggage. The rental companies tend to take cars out of service after a year or two so you will be getting a relatively new car that has been well maintained. Since they don’t want to deal with negotiating, they will typically have “no haggle” pricing. If you don’t want to deal with negotiating but want a good car at a decent price, this option may be the one for you.

    Read Also: How To Protect Car From Hail

    Check The Reliability Stats

    The next thing to assess is the reliability of the used car youre thinking about buying. And the best place to get this information is in Consumer Reports, specifically the annual auto issue the magazine publishes every April.

    The magazines reliability ratings are compiled from reports about 17 common trouble spots in more than a million cars on the road. This gives you a great vantage point on long-term reliability.

    I believe that if you stick to Consumer Reports annual recommended list of used vehicles, you shouldnt have to buy an extended warranty at all even if you have difficulty saving money for potential car repairs, Clark says. Thats how much I trust the collective wisdom of used car owners thats culled for Consumer Reports.

    Visit to get digital access to the used car ratings for $39 a year or $10 a month. You can also read the April issue for free at your local library.

    What Questions Should You Ask The Seller About The Used Car

    5 Things You Must Check When Buying a Used Car

    Gathering as much information as possible is the key to making a solid used car purchase. One of the best ways to do this is to ask the seller questions lots of them!

    Not sure what questions to ask? Here are some good questions to start with :

    • Reason for selling : Why are you selling the car?
    • Accidents : Has the vehicle been in an accident?
    • Repairs or modifications : Has anything been repaired, replaced or modified on the car?
    • Owners : How many owners has the vehicle had?
    • Fuel efficiency : How is the gas mileage on the car?
    • Maintenance : Did the car have regular oil changes and maintenance?
    • Warranty : Is the vehicle still under the manufacturers warranty? If an issue exists, can it be fixed before the purchase?
    • Cash discounts : Will they consider a cash discount?
    • Certified pre-owned : If the car is certified pre-owned ask to see a copy of the inspection report.
    • Trade-in : If you are buying from a dealer are they willing to take a car as a trade-in?

    Ask as many questions as you have. If the buyer gets annoyed, agitated, or is trying to close the deal quickly, it could be a sign they are hiding something. Remember, you can always walk away.

    Recommended Reading: Safest First Car For Teenager

    Things To Do Before Buying A Used Car From A Private Seller

    If youre considering buying a car privately – perhaps youre looking for a particular vehicle or you found a seller with the vehicle you want – follow these tips to make a private purchase a happy transaction for both sides.

    • Know what buyers typically pay for the particular year, make, and model you want, in the condition you want, in your local area. There may be less room to haggle with a private seller than with a dealer, but having this knowledge may help you make an offer thats fair.
    • Be aware of red flags, such as a car that is priced suspiciously low or a seller that requests a wire transfer in advance. Also, always ask to see the title, which is a way for the seller to prove ownership.
    • When youre ready to buy, investigate the vehicles history by looking up a report from a service, such as CARFAX, to uncover issues the seller may not have disclosed. Private transactions are typically sold as is, which means any post-sale problems are typically the buyers responsibility.
    • Complete a pre-purchase inspection by taking the vehicle to a reputable mechanic. The mechanic can evaluate and advise if they see a potential problem or future repair that may cost you thousands of dollars down the road.
    • When completing the transaction with a private seller, get your paperwork in order and work with an escrow service to facilitate the payment, or conduct the transaction at your financial institution.

    Figure Out The Used Cars Value

    Now its time to figure out if the used car youve chosen is worth the price. Dig up all the information you can on the car so you can talk the seller down to a better deal.

    1. Start with Kelley Blue Book . KBB uses data collected from actual sales transactions and auction prices to give you an accurate price range for the used car.

    2. Buy a vehicle history report . A good VHR costs about $50 and includes accident history, ownership history, and a ton of other records.

    A VHR removes a lot of guesswork about the used car since it will show you if the car has been in any accidents or has already spent a lot of time in the shop.

    Vehicle History offers a free basic report, but if youre about to drop a couple grand on a used car, buy a comprehensive report from CARFAX. Youll need the VIN number . Pro tip: If the VIN number has been scratched off or removed, dont buy the car. Thats a huge red flag. Chances are, the used car has been stolen or the seller is hiding something.

    3. Figure out the ownership cost. Thats what youll spend to maintain the car and what long-term repairs you should expect for the make and model youre looking at. Youll also need to know the costs and availability of replacement parts since parts for some cars are more expensive than others. You can use Edmunds True Cost to Own tool to get a good estimate.

    Read Also: Is A Used Car Warranty Worth It

    Depreciation Works On A Curve

    First, consider that depreciation isnt the same for new and old cars.

    New cars depreciate much faster than used cars. When you drive a new car off the lot it loses 9-11% of its value immediately. Within 12 months, the average car will have lost 20% of its value. After that point, a car will lose about 15-25% of its current value every year for five years. After that, depreciation still happens, but at a slower rate.

    Determine Where To Shop For A Used Car And Where To Avoid

    Never Buy a Used Car from the Dealership

    Where you shop for used cars matters so you can avoid purchasing a lemon.

    DeLorenzo recommends shopping at franchised car dealerships that have certified pre-owned cars used vehicles that have been thoroughly inspected and typically come with some type of warranty coverage. Non-certified cars arent bad and theyll typically cost less but theyre more likely to have higher mileage and more maintenance needs.

    Be wary of independent car lots that boast they can make you a deal regardless of your credit or circumstance.

    Typically theyll try to get you in with a low price, but you may not be getting the best quality car, he said. The other thing is that if you get your financing through those types of dealers, they typically charge you a much higher interest rate.

    DeLorenzo recommends pre-qualifying for a loan at a bank or credit union before visiting a dealership. You can compare the offer with the dealers financing terms for better negotiating leverage.

    For any car dealer you visit, do some due diligence and check customer reviews online. If you know others whove recently purchased a car, ask for recommendations.

    Outside of dealerships, look for cars online at trusted sites like Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Carfax or Edmunds or buy from a private seller.

    However, you also need to be OK with buying the vehicle as-is and securing your own financing. And be sure the owner has clear title and owns the car outright.

    Also Check: Fl Car Title

    Things To Avoid When Buying A Used Car

    Thomas J. Brock is a CFA and CPA with more than 20 years of experience in various areas including investing, insurance portfolio management, finance and accounting, personal investment and financial planning advice, and development of educational materials about life insurance and annuities.

    Buying a used car can be a smart investment when you need a replacement vehicle. While new car purchases tend to increase with a rising economy, used cars can provide a great alternative as long as you know how to shop for one.

    You can get the most bang for your buck with a used car. While this provides an opportunity to live more economically, a used car, by definition, has issues from regular wear and tear. Therefore, it’s important to avoid making these costly mistakes when you’re in the market for a second-hand car.

    More articles

    Popular Articles