Smart Shopping for Used Cars

When you’re looking at used cars, the first one on the lot to catch your eye won’t be the minivan. That sports car with its smooth lines is going to wink at you and call you out for a high-powered spin. However, one surefire way to end up with buyer’s remorse is to buy a car that doesn’t work for you.

One of the most important factors in car shopping is knowing what you can afford. Before you even call the dealer, have a clear idea of how much car you can afford and how much you can put into a down payment. If you are taking out a loan, have your financing arranged.

Then, assess your vehicle needs. Do you have a family? Will you be chauffeuring the kids to school or frequently carrying passengers? If so, a two-seater probably isn’t the ticket for you. Instead, you will want to look at used cars with extra space and plenty of safety features.

You should also account for the weather in your area and the types of driving you do. If you live in a mild climate and spend most of your time on paved roads, you do not to worry about features such as four-wheel drive. If you do live in an area with severe weather or bad roads, make sure you select a vehicle with the clearance, power, and traction to get you safely to your destination.

Finally, decide whether fuel economy is important to you. If you are on a tight budget, do a lot of driving or want to minimize your impact on the environment, choose a car that gets efficient gas mileage in town and on the highway.

If you have unlimited funding and plan to spend your days speeding along sunny coastal roads, go for it. Heed the sports car’s siren call. If not, you should plan carefully before setting out to look at used cars to make sure you end up with a vehicle that truly meets your needs.