As a young student, you’ll be making a lot of first-time decisions. Maybe you’ll be renting your first apartment or starting your first part-time job in a new city. Another first that you might have to deal with is choosing a used car to buy. This is obviously one of the steps you need to make wisely.
As a student, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have enough money to buy a new car. So, buying a used car is your only option. Besides, this will help you avoid exhausting monthly payments. But, you have to be very careful while going through this process of selection, or else, you might get scammed into buying a junk car. To help you understand how to choose a used car, we’ve put together a list of 5 unconventional and super effective tips.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Set Your Budget Range
The first thing you need to do is set up your budget range. This will help you understand what choices you have and how far you can go with your searches.
So, make sure that you:
- know exactly how much money you’re ready to pay for a used car
- decide on the desired budget range during the negotiation process
Once you know where you stand financially, it’s time to do thorough market research.
2. Find Target Vehicles
Now it’s time for you to start building a list of vehicles you’d consider buying, based on your budget, of course.
Visit the best websites that sell cars, or dealerships in your area and start building a list of cars you can afford. Make sure that you have several different models on your wish list.
Here’s how the process should go down:
- find several models you like
- check the prices for the same model in different dealerships, websites, and platforms
- decide which model you like the best
- decide on a dealership that you feel comfortable about
Even once you choose the model and dealership you prefer, the process is still not over. This is just your preliminary choice, but you need to dig even deeper.
3. Check the Vehicle History Report
In order for you to have a clear idea of what you’re about to buy, you need to check the vehicle history report of the car. That’s quite an important stage.
That means that you’ll be able to discover any hidden problems and learn more about the car and its history.
A vehicle history report will tell you:
- whether the car has been in an accident and had any damages (even the tiniest ones)
- reported services
- reported odometer reading
- original equipment
- vehicle use
You’ll learn about the car you’re thinking of buying and be one step closer to making the right decision.
4. Get a Mechanic to Inspect The Car
Actually, this might just be the best investment you’ll ever make.
Inspecting the car is crucial. However, if you’re not into cars or you don’t have a lot of experience with them, you’ll find it hard to truly inspect the vehicle by yourself.
Sure, you’ll be able to test-drive it and search for visual damage. However, you need to go beyond this and ask for professional help.
A mechanic will be able to:
- do a thorough inspection
- check the engine
- check all the electronics
Most car dealerships will let you take the car to an independent mechanic you can trust. Make sure you do this before you seal the deal. Every inch of the used car has to be thoroughly inspected. This is one of the most important steps of the future deal. And one more crucial point here: buying a used car can’t be based only on the seller’s representations or the recommendations of his/her fellow mechanic specialist.
Most car dealers expect you to negotiate, so don’t be afraid of insulting anyone. You have to remember that you really can influence the final price given by the dealer, just don’t be afraid to do so.
If the vehicle car report or the mechanic revealed some even minor issues about the car, but you still are planning to buy it, you can use this as an advantage during the process of negotiation.
Make sure that you negotiate to lower the price. Use important facts such as:
- the money you will need to invest in the car once you buy it
- any kind of detected damage or issues the dealership tried to hide
- other dealerships selling the same car
- the set budget that you can’t really go above
Thus, with good negotiating skills, lack of fear, and a bit of luck, you’ll be doing all the paperwork and finishing the process of buying your new car successfully.
Buying a car as a student is a really huge deal. You need to make sure you’re doing everything it takes to choose the right vehicle based on your desires and budget, inspect the car and dealership, and make the right call.
Use the tips we’ve given you to ensure you choose the car that is the right fit for you. Be careful and smart, and you’ll seal a great deal sooner than you think. If you have any advice for your fellow students, write about it, and use quality academic services for help with writing. Good luck!