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A used car is ideal if it’s the first car that your child will be driving or if you’re only looking for an “emergency” vehicle for your family. Unlike with brand new cars, wherein they’re guaranteed to be in complete working order, buying used cars can be a hit-or-miss process.

Used Car Buying TipsThere are also benefits of buying a used car. 1. You can often get a car that's almost as good as a brand new vehicle without paying the new car price. Cars that are only a year old can be 20-30 percent cheaper than the brand new version. 2. You'll save money on insurance. 3. Today, the history of a used car can easily be traced using the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Even with all these benefits you still need to exercise the greatest care when shopping for a used car. Hopefully, the tips below can help you make the right decision in the end.

Tip #1: Find the right car for you.

You want to find a car that fits your needs. If you have a growing family you will obviously want a larger car or minivan. Or if your job or hobby requires that your vehicle has plenty of storage space, you will need a vehicle that fits these requirements. If you're not sure what type of car you are looking for try to help you decide.

Tip #2: Research the car.

Do a little research to check its reliability and consumer reviews. You don't want to purchase a model that has a history of recalls or maintenance problems. You might also want to find out the average cost of maintenance and the cost to insure the car.

Tip #3: Make sure you know the car's real value.

You should already have an idea of how much you can afford to spend so you don't want to waste your time looking at cars that are out of your price range. You can find the value of used cars at site's like

Tip #4: Consider mileage.

This will let you know just how “used” the vehicle is. Keep in mind, however, that odometers can be tampered with. If you are buying a 1992 model and yet the odometer shows that it has only run 5,000 miles, something fishy is probably going on. On the other hand, if the car is only a few years old, but has 50,000 miles on it you know that's not as new as it may seem.

Tip #5: Is the vehicle sold “as is” or does it come with a warranty for repair or some other service?

Dealers or any person selling a used car must be very clear about the ccondition of the vehiclethey’re selling. If they promise to repair the car or perform a specified service as part of your purchase, make sure that you get it in writing.

Tip #6: Verify the vehicle’s history.

Ask the dealer or owner about the car’s history. Most would try to conceal from prospective buyers about any previous accidents that the vehicle was involved with so you may have to check and verify facts on your own. You can get a vehicle history report at

Tip #7: Make sure you test drive the vehicle.

This may seem obvious, but you want to not only make sure that the car runs well, you want to make sure that it's a good fit for you. Test everything you can on the vehicle, the radio, air conditioning, heater, even the windshield wipers. You want to make sure the vehicle is in good working condition. You also want to give the outside of the car a careful inspection. Check the car for any dents, dings and scratches that could influence the price.

Tip #8: Take the car to a mechanic if it is not certified by the manufacturer.

If possible, have a professional mechanic inspect the vehicle. They can easily tell you if the vehicle is in good condition or if it has suffered any damage such as an accident or flood damage in the past.   

Tip #9: Are there any add-ons?

Add-ons can be anything from free seat covers to discounted rims. Dealers rarely offer them but private car owners usually do so if they want to expedite the sale.

Tip #10: Negotiate the best deal.

Especially when you are dealing with private parties, you don't want to just go with their initial price. You're not trying to rip anyone off, but you want to get the best deal you can. Most will come down from their asking price if you show resistance.

Call us today at (502) 933-2255 or get a free instant Louisville auto insurance quote to be sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 8:08 PM

Tags: auto, save
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