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What to Look for in a Used Car

Christine Spencer

Auto Loan Expert

Buying a car can be an intimidating process. It involves a large amount of money and a complicated product. Buying a used car can be even more stressful, as no one wants to wind up with a car that breaks shortly after being purchased. There are a number of things buyers can do to make sure you get the best value out of your used car.


What to Look for in a Used Car

The first thing you should do before buying any used car is to inspect it. Check the interior for rips, and stains. Evaluate the overall cleanliness and condition of the inside of the car. This will give you some good insight into how the rest of the car was cared for, as well as telling you how nice the car will be to sit in.

The next thing buyers should check for is rust and scratches. Rust in one place means there can be rust in other places, so that is a good warning that the car hasn’t been properly cared for. Additionally, the state of the bodywork will also give you a better understanding of the overall level of care and attention the car has received in the past, and so is a good indicator of the car’s overall quality.

Buyers should also examine the engine. Even if you are not a mechanic, there are things you can look for. These include rust, leaks, spills, and stains. Rust and leaks are a good sign that you should get a different car, whereas stains and spills can point to current or past problems that you can look for on the vehicle’s history.

The vehicle’s history is another must-look. If a car has been in a serious accident or had major components replaced or repaired, there is a greater risk that there is something else wrong with the car. Evaluating vehicle history will also tell you how many owners the car has had, which will help you understand more about the vehicle’s quality. A car with many previous owners likely had a number of problems that owners simply got tired of dealing with and decided to sell the car.

Finally, you should never buy a used car without taking it for a test drive. A test drive will be very informative about how the car is running, if it is a good fit for you, and give you an idea about what the car would be like day-to-day. It is important to go through as many types of driving conditions as possible on your test drive. Take the car on surface streets to test visibility, breaking, and turning radius. Taking the car on the freeway will give you a better idea regarding the car’s acceleration and blind spots. Furthermore, being in the car will help you determine if it is comfortable to sit in.

Paying for Your Used Car

Once you’ve found a car that’s right for you, you’ll need to determine how you pay for it. Most people get a used car loan to pay for their car. The current interest rates for used car loans change from place to place and depend on your credit history. Used car loan rates NJ will be different from a car loan in UAE for used car.

One of the best tools available to consumers are the used car loan payment calculator that many auto-lenders have on their websites. These will help you understand your monthly payment as well as how much you’ll be paying overall for the car.  In order to use one you’ll have to plug in the value of the car, the used car loan interest rate you think you’ll get, and the length of the loan. This information will produce your monthly payment, so you can determine if you can afford the used car you’ve had your eye on, or if you need to look for a different used car to buy.

Warranties or Service Agreements

Warranties are service agreements are the final thing that used car buyers should consider. A warranty generally indicates that the company stands behind their product, so it is a good way to evaluate the quality of the car. Service agreements can reduce the cost of operating the car and also show that a business stands behind the product it sells you.