How do you know which car is right for you? It's all in asking the right questions.
First, ask yourself what you really need in a car. Who will be driving it most of the time? Where will you be driving in? Over what sort of terrain? Do you need a lot of storage space and lots of seating? Are you going to be traveling back and forth over long distances?
What features is an absolute must? Air conditioning, adjustable controls, cruise control?
What safety features you are looking for? Anti-lock brake systems, head injury protection, or child protection equipment?
How much are you willing to spend?
What kind of down payment can you make?
Realistically, what can you afford to pay monthly?
It's important to know this amount before you even start looking. Then do your research. Check websites, dealerships, and Consumer Reports magazine. Look for reliability and repair ratings as well as safety advice.
Go exploring for that perfect car. Gather as much info as you can on the different makes and models. Check out the retail value, available options, performance, and track record for repairs.
No matter where you buy your used car, be prepared to stand firm. There are a bazillion other cars you could fall in love with. Be willing to walk away from the car if the deal doesn't meet the criteria you laid out earlier. Your ability to negotiate a great deal will increase by leaps and bounds.
Always know the market value of any car you're considering and make your first offer lower. You want a little room to negotiate.
Ask for detailed vehicle history report and service records from the seller. This report can identify major problems including past accidents, flood damage, and odometer discrepancies. When you decide to buy a car, make sure you get it checked out by a trusted mechanic before you hand over any money. That's absolutely crucial.
Buying a car can be one of the most exciting purchases you ever make.