A used car can be an affordable way to gain transportation for your business. There are many dealers that have a used car lot and individuals willing to part with their vehicles. Used car shopping requires a little more investigation than new car shopping, however. It is important to implement some savvy shopping skills so that your used car is a quality purchase. Before you start your search, look over these tips to help you choose the right car, and avoid problems.

Budget

The first thing you need to determine, before starting your shopping, is your available budget. This can help you to quickly narrow down your choices, once you arrive at the car lot to browse. Dealers and owners are often willing to negotiate, so you may be able to look at a few cars that are a little above your budget. If you are able to enter into a financing agreement, you need to calculate how much you can afford to pay monthly. Try to stay under your budget, however, in case you need to have any updates or repairs done to cars sold “as is”.

Dealer or Individual

It is a personal preference as to whether you choose to purchase from a dealer or a private party. A dealer can offer warranties to secure repairs and financing options. Owner sales usually require a full payment up front and must be accepted “as is”. If you get the car home and find a problem, there is little you can do about the situation, other than fix it at your own cost.

Background

A used car should not be purchased without first checking its background. When a car is in a wreck or has maintenance, these incidents are recorded with the use of the VIN number. Be sure to have the VIN number checked before committing to any purchase. It should be considered a red flag if a dealer or private owner refuses to share this information with you. Many dealerships make the effort to have a background report on hand for potential buyers to look at. You should, however, double check the information to be sure. Select a reputable garage to buy a used car from, some are terrible and can land you having a terrible experience. Jennings offers over 1000 used cars and is a recommended dealer to buy a used car from – read reviews beforehand.

Mechanic

A reputable buyer should allow you to take the car to your private mechanic to be checked out. A private owner may not allow you to take the car, but you can offer to pay for the visit if they are willing to drop it off. This is not a failsafe, however.  A mechanic can check a variety of things but has not way to determine every possible problem that could occur. They can, however, assess the basic health of the car. They can check fluids and look for worn out breaks and other parts. If the engine is showing obvious symptoms of something or the check engine light is on, they can also offer a diagnosis. If the mechanic finds repairs that need to be done, be sure to get an estimate in writing. Sellers may get the repairs done for you or lower the selling price.

Lemon Law

Many people think that the lemon law should cover any vehicle that does not perform as expected, especially if it is completely unusable at some point. This is not usually an option, however, when used cars are concerned. Lemon laws are meant to cover new items that are manufactured incorrectly. The use of a vehicle by its previous owner negates this opportunity. You must make sure that other securities are in place before you purchase.

Consider the Purposes the Car Will Serve

Are you looking for a car that is great for long or short journeys? Perhaps if you like to travel or do business abroad you might want a car with technology that provides things such as a sat-nav and translation services via an app. If you have pets or children, then the size of the car will also be a consideration depending on the purpose it needs to serve.

Warranties

Warranties on used cars are often limited. Some dealerships try to sell you a warranty that is useless for the repairs you may actually need. Read the paperwork thoroughly so you do not waste money on something that you are likely to never use. This is a common tactic to increase the amount of money the dealership receives for the sale. A car that is older is likely far past its manufacturer warranty coverage. If the dealership is unable to offer you a helpful warranty, check with the manufacturer about an extended warranty. A dealership may be able to help you arrange this, as well. A purchase from a private owner usually does not offer any type of warranty.

Negotiate

Do not feel like you are locked into a price. Car dealerships usually price up because they expect a negotiation to occur. A private seller many be willing to accept less if they have not had much interest on the vehicle or need to sell quickly. It can help if you know the value of the car you are looking at. Check the value online and consider the condition of the car. You can negotiate on the basis of interior condition and necessary repairs. If the car you want has been on the lot for a long time, they may also be willing to part with it for less.

Financing

Financing is often offered for used car, however the choices may depend on the age of the vehicle. Cars that are older than 4 or 5 years may not be eligible for a good financing plan. Since these cars may need more repairs, the interest can be fairly high. Individuals with less than perfect credit may also have a hard time financing a used car. Lending banks prefer for owners with lower credit to purchase a new car. This is because a reliable car can secure transportation to work, upping the chances that a default on the loan does not happen. Older used car are considered a risk. If you choose an older car, you may need to pay the entire thing upfront.

Financing is not out of the question, however. Choose a car that is fairly new, for the best results. The minimum down payment expected is usually around 10% for used cars. Some dealers may ask for more. Your monthly payments may be lessened if you pay more or trade in your current vehicle. If you are trading in, check ahead of time on the value of your car. You want to make sure you are offered the appropriate trade in value. Take the time to save up a significant amount before you begin shopping.

Used car purchases can be successful if you are prepared ahead of time. Dealerships are out to make a profit, so it can be helpful to know the value of your trade in and the vehicles you are looking at. This can help you secure a fair price, and the money you save you can use towards modifying your vehicle in the future. You can also save up and pay cash to an individual. This can alleviate the stress of monthly payments. Check the history and have a mechanic look at the vehicle before you decide on a purchase. The right used car is waiting for you!

The post Buying a Used Car for Business: Tips for a Successful Purchase appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Source: Main home business mag

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