Heading to the dealership to drive and ultimately purchase a used vehicle can be great fun. Nevertheless, it’s important to do your homework. That means spending a little time researching different makes and models to be sure you get something that’s right for your needs. It also means researching the dealership itself, ensuring you pick a used car seller with a strong reputation.
Part of the research process consists of some simple self-evaluation: What are your needs, exactly? What do you really need in your used vehicle? As you consider the big picture, here are five specific questions that may be helpful.
What to Ask Before Buying a Used Car
- How much space do you need? Simple question: How many passengers will you need to haul around? Be sure to contemplate not just your immediate situation, but also future needs. For instance, do you think you may expand your family in the coming years? You’ll probably have your used car for a while, so it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you don’t outgrow it too quickly.
- How often and how far do you drive? Some families just use their vehicle to navigate the same small area of town, while others drive for hours each day on their long work or school commutes. If you’re in the latter category, then fuel economy may be an especially salient issue for you. You may even want to look into hybrid vehicles.
- What about storage? Do you go camping and biking regularly? Do you need a vehicle that can accommodate a lot of stuff? That’s something else to keep in mind as you look into used vehicles.
- How much can you afford to spend on your car each week? Look at your current household budget and see how much room there is for a vehicle. Consider not just monthly car payments, but also gas, taxes/fees, and insurance. Weighing these costs can give you a sense of just how much used car you can truly afford.
- What are your must-have features? Is Apple compatibility an essential? Do you truly need a sunroof to be happy? Are a lack of high-tech safety features deal breakers as far as you’re concerned? It may be helpful to make a list separating your must-haves from your can-live-without features. That way, you’ll have a good sense of where you can compromise and where you can’t.
When it comes to buying a used car, there’s obviously a lot to think about. Start with this self-evaluation, then use the Web to research different makes and models. Have a list of at least three or four different cars in mind before you head to the dealership.
And of course, make sure the dealership you choose is a good and reputable one. That’s something Get My Auto can help you with. We love connecting buyers with first-class dealerships in Orange County. Reach out to us any time you’re ready to start your used car buying process.