Just like buying a new car, buying a used car is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Before you even begin shopping for a used car you need to do some homework to keep from paying too much and to keep from buying a vehicle fraught with problems. Consider what you will be using the car for, how much it will be used, and what your budget is. You will want to research different models, options, repair records, safety tests, and gas mileage. Research and be sure there aren't excessive recalls as well.
Consumer reports will help you with some of these items. Use the internet; it is an unbeatable resource for all kinds of information. This is what I do, you can find all the information you need. Thoroughly examine the car you intend to buy whether from a dealer or individual using an inspection checklist. You can find these online at used car websites. If the car passes your inspection I would still recommend taking it to your local mechanic.
Many times they will look one over for free and if they do charge anything it will be nominal. Test drive the car you like under different road conditions. Drive it on the highway and in stop and go traffic. Check the brakes, the steering, and the alignment. Ask for the car's maintenance record from the owner, dealer, or repair shop. When it comes to paying for the car most people don't realize that there are methods of financing their car that they may not even realize.
You may have capital in your home that can be used at a much cheaper rate than an auto loan would be. Use the equity that you have in your home by taking out a home equity loan. A loan like this can be used for anything that you desire.
Home equity loans can be used for any purpose such as a new car, home improvements, credit card debt, and debt consolidation. One of the other great benefits is that the interest rates are tax deductible. If you don't have equity that you can use in your home or are not a home owner then you need to check with your bank or credit union. In any case you want to have your financing arranged prior to going to the dealership or buying from an individual. Don't set yourself up to get taken by the dealership if purchasing from one.
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. For quality car care go to http://www.carcarewizards.com