Buying a used car is both rewarding and can be risky! You get to get a great deal on your dream car at a fraction of the cost. The risky part is easily mitigated when you keep a few steps on your checklist;
- Consider CPO (certified pre owned) offers whenever possible. It will get you a longer warranty and it’s backed by the manufacturer, not just the dealership selling it. All the benefits of a new car, none of the extra cost.
- Make a list of every potential car you are interested in and inspect each personally. It seems like extra work, but sometimes the best gems are cars whose owner was lazy enough to not take his car to a car wash and only snapping 1-2 pictures of it. That doesn’t speak to the car’s quality & value.
- Check possible financing options. If one car is cheaper, but the alternative is CPO or can get you better financing, that would change your outlook on the situation. Look for this criteria as well.
- Check vehicle history report – This is where CPO is so much more reliable than the alternatives. You want to know what the car has been through. Has it been serviced frequently? Has it had any collisions/accidents in the past? You can use AutoCheck or Carfax for this.
- Test drive the car. Again, might seem obvious, but it has to be on the list. This is the final check, if it checks all the boxes, and FEELS great, you should get it.
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