Tips on how to buy a used car and not get burned

While buying a used car is a great way to save money on your wheels, it’s necessary to be careful if you don’t want to get burned on the deal. Every car has its own history, and it can work in your favor or alternatively it can be extremely counter-productive and costly. Be sure to follow these tips on buying a used car if you want to ensure you get a good deal for your hard earned cash.


Be sure that when you do find a car that you do a history check on the vehicle. In addition, you should always have a mechanic, or at least a friend who knows what to look for, check the car over. After all, it’s better to pay a mechanic to take a quick look than it is to fork out for repairs later.

There are big positives to buying a used vehicle, the most important being that you’ll get better value for your money, seeing as someone else takes the hit on its initial depreciation. There are other bonuses too, as any used car buying guide will tell you. This is a good used car buying guide if you’re interested.

Shop around

It might sound obvious, but you really shouldn’t just go marching into the nearest car dealership and choose the first car you set eyes on. You’re far better off searching in the online used car classifieds in your area. Check out your local newspaper’s website to see some cars located close to you in addition to checking out the dealerships

Investigate the car’s history

Never ever buy a used car without verifying exactly what you are buying. To do so, you’ll need to obtain a history report on the vehicle you’re interested in. For example, you might find out that the car was previously wrecked in an accident, in which case it’ll need to be inspected very closely to ensure everything is sound. After all, some dubious mechanics specialize in making wrecks look almost good as new by carrying out superficial repairs. If the vehicle’s VIN isn’t listed in the advertisement, or if the seller won’t provide it, don’t buy it. It’s a loud and clear sign that the seller is trying to hide something.

Consider buying from a rental company

Although most buyers initially think they’ll get a bad deal here, it’s often a good idea to buy from a rental firm. That’s because rental car companies are actually more likely to follow the guidelines regarding recommended maintenance than regular people. You might find a few more scrapes and dings than with cars owned by a private individual, but you can be sure that the mechanics are likely to be sound when buying from such a company.

Rental companies usually take their vehicles out of service after two or three years at the most, so you’ll be getting a relatively new car that’s been well-maintained. Also, because rental car companies don’t want to waste time negotiating, they’ll likely have a “no haggle” price listed to keep the deal simple.