A Few Things To Do When You Shop For A Used Car

Sometimes it's better to buy a used car than a new one. If you want a second car or a daily driver that fits your budget, it often makes more sense to buy a used car that costs less money. However, you never really know what you're getting with a used car. In some ways, the same can be said about a brand new car, so it's always good to be prepared when you visit the car lot to look at cars. Here are a few things to do when shopping for a used car.

Find Out About The Car's History

The used car dealer might run a history on cars they put on the lot. This allows you to look over histories as you look at cars. If the car dealer doesn't do it, then you'll want to get the VIN number and run the history yourself. The report lets you know if the car was in a serious wreck that might have caused damage the repair shop missed or if the car was in a flood and suffered from water damage that might lead to rusting or hidden mold.

Also, check if the car has service records available. If a previous owner kept records of maintenance that shows the oil was changed on schedule and other maintenance was done on time, then you have some assurance the car was treated well and not abused.

Learn About Insurance Costs Before You Shop

While insurance for a used car is often less than what you pay for a new car, other factors determine the cost of your car insurance. If you're buying a car for a teen driver and you want to control the cost, you definitely want to talk to your insurance agent before you buy a car so you can avoid those with higher rates, such as sports cars and cars with powerful engines. By learning about insurance costs and reading about different types of used cars online, you can narrow down the type of cars you'll be interested in test driving.

Sit In Different Cars

While you'll only want to test drive a car you think you might buy, you should sit in several different cars to test them for fit. If you've driven a variety of cars, you know some are more comfortable than others. You want a car that has comfort features you really like, such as armrests. Plus, you want to make sure you can fit behind the wheel comfortably and that you have just the right amount of leg room to be comfortable and drive safely.

When you visit a used car dealer, you may be limited by your budget, so let the salesperson know upfront how much you are willing to pay so they steer you in the right direction toward cars that fit your price range. Prices for used cars vary widely, so you need to find the perfect balance between finding a car you like and one that you can afford to buy and operate.