What I Wish I Knew Before Buying a Used Car

Buying your first car by yourself is a critical decision and a stepping stone into the rest of your vehicle-purchasing career. Most often, this first car purchase is going to be a used vehicle. 

Unfortunately, many people make dumb mistakes when going to buy their first used car, and there are a lot of underlying factors that get skimmed over when first purchasing this car. 

However, fortunately for you, here is a list of things that most people wished they knew before buying their first used car. Take this advice so you don’t let the excitement of buying a new vehicle hurt you in the long run. 

Plan Ahead 

Buying your first car has to have a lot of planning and preparation involved. This process begins far before you ever even pick out the specific vehicle you are interested in. It starts with your insurance company or accountant. 

In fact, when you start to consider looking at cars, it would be best if you made multiple calls to these people to give them a heads up that you are buying a vehicle. 

Once you have found the vehicle you want to purchase, you should call; once you check everything out and make sure it is the one you want, you should call; and once the deal is finalized, you should call. 

Plus, if there is any possible issue that you might have with the car, you should give these people  a heads up, so they know what kind of coverage to provide you. 

Do Your Homework

Look at the kind of vehicles you are going to buy, and keep insurance prices in mind. It is probably not an excellent idea for inexperienced teen drivers to look at buying a convertible sports car, even if you want one. 

The cost of coverage on that type of vehicle will be high, and it’s highly doubtful that the average 19 year olds could afford it unless they are famous. 

Compare used cars, and once you find the type of car you are interested in, browse the market and message people asking about the vehicle; if you have found the one you want, you can set up the appointment to check it out. 

Look at the Car in Person

Don’t ever make any deals through the phone, even if the person uses different tactics saying how there are many people interested in the vehicle. Strive to be the first one to get out there and check it out. 

Finalizing deals over the phone can be a huge rip off in one of two ways:

  • The first is that once you give the person their money electronically, they could never speak to you again.
  • The other is that there could be something majorly wrong with the vehicle that said person is doing an excellent job at hiding. 

These problems can also be an insurance nightmare because if you just bought a car and you total it because you lose control due to an unseen issue, that accident goes on the record as being your fault. This makes the insurance company take a hit, and your insurance rates skyrocket. 

Get Insurance Confirmation

Once you have decided on a vehicle and you have looked the car over for any problems, you should make another phone call to your insurance agent. It would help if you let the agent know that the deal is final and the car is now yours. 

They will most likely want the car’s vehicle identification number, which you should look at before purchasing, and then they can give you a rough estimate on when your coverage will start. 

It shouldn’t be long before you are covered, but make sure you call your agent after his rough estimate is over to make sure you are covered. You never want to drive a vehicle that is not adequately insured. 

Be absolutely certain that you know all of the car insurance requirements for buying a used car.

Be a Safe Driver

After everything is all done — meaning you are good with the insurance company, and the car is in your name — it is time to hit the road. There is a common belief that you can drive a car into the ground when you have a used vehicle, and it won’t cost a lot of money. 

Well, it’s true that it is your money, so you can certainly do that, but there is a lot of danger involved. 

Something could go seriously wrong with the vehicle, and you could total it. Even though it may not be a big hit to your wallet initially since it was an inexpensive vehicle, insurance will get you later. 

After crashing any car, your insurance rates will likely go up, especially for drivers under the age of 21. 

Bring Someone with You

Having someone with a background in or knowledge of cars can be handy to have when checking out a used car to buy, whether that comes from a certified pre-owned dealer or an outside person. 

Bringing someone along with you can be helpful because you might miss something that could cause you an issue later down the road. 

Plus, having a person with experience and insight in the automotive industry can help those buying their first used car. It might get irritating bringing this person along because they might tell you to pass on a couple of vehicles you like. 

While this can be frustrating during the buying process, you will be better off in the end. You wouldn’t want an underlying issue to cause your first car buying experience to be a bad one. 

Not to mention the insurance companies are barking up your tree — you want to make sure you aren’t missing vital details that could impact your policy. 

Enjoy Buying Your First Car

There are many firsts throughout life from the first time going to college to your first kiss, and one of the essential firsts is buying your first car. Many people have had bad experiences buying their first car, and those experiences have affected their car buying experiences every time they buy a new car.  

Avoiding this crippling anxiety when buying vehicles is not impossible to accomplish. 

Following the easy steps above so that your bank account and your future do not get spoiled is highly recommended. Plus, buying a new car should be fun and exciting, and you shouldn’t be overly concerned about the details. Save up enough money to not worry about that part of the process, too.

If you keep these small tips in the back of your mind, having a pleasant experience buying cars will become second nature.