You’ve decided to go the practical route and buy a pre-owned vehicle instead of a new one, but have no idea where to go or what to do next. The most important thing you can do is to do your homework: find out just how much you can afford, what car model can best accommodate your needs, and determine how you are going to pay for the car. Used car dealers in NJ offer assistance on online credit application, and it’s worth taking a look. A car, even used, is still a big investment so you mustn’t take for granted the things you should consider when buying one. Here are the points to ponder when getting a pre-owned car.
Decide on how much you can spend on a monthly basis for your car, its upkeep, fuel costs, and insurance. Don’t forget the costs of registration, title, and tax. As a general rule, the tax and assorted costs may add roughly ten percent to the car’s purchase price—so if you’re buying a car with a $20,000 price tag, you will likely end up shelling out $22,000. Insurance rates vary depending on the vehicle type and your own driving record. Sports cars or high-performance vehicle command higher insurance rates. Shop around to check the various rates offered by different insurance companies. Once you’ve decided on a budget, stick to it.
The car model you should get must be one that meets you needs. You may get distracted when you see something flashy—a shiny red sports coupe, perhaps—and forget that you’re buying a car for your family, not your eighteen-year-old self. To avoid this situation, do your research so you can be aware about the current market offerings and read up on different car models. To keep yourself on track, do the following:
• Make a list of things your car should be able to do or have (large storage space, power steering, four-wheel drive, automatic transmission).
• Make another list of qualities you admire in a car (in-car entertainment, color, body style, sunroof).
• Cross-reference the two lists so you’ll have a list of must-have and nice-to-have qualities in a car.
• Use this list to cross out vehicle models that don’t meet your preferences.
The most convenient and practical way to gain information about vehicle types is to go online and take advantage of the hundreds of websites about cars. Read about safety features, engine performance, reliability, among other aspects. Some online tools let you compare two to four vehicles side by side, while others have reviews made by car owners themselves. Doing research online can also help you get an idea of the current market prices of pre-owned cars, and help you narrow down your choices.
Along with your budget, you should also make a decision on how you plan to pay for your car. You may choose to pay in full if you have the money on hand, or finance over time. The latter increases the total cost of the car, but is easier on the pocket. You can choose to pay a set fee every month for a period of 48 months, for instance.
Remember, the key here is to do your research. Be vigilant about the car-buying choices you make. Good luck!