5 Must Ask Questions When Buying a Used Car
You may have heard that used car costs have risen dramatically. The fact is, that rumor is 100 percent accurate. By the end of 2021, the average price paid for used cars had risen to a record high of almost $29,000. This is the first time the price of a used vehicle has surpassed $29,000. And there's no sign of things slowing down anytime soon. According to estimates, in 2022, the average price of a used car would surpass $30,000 for the first time. That's a substantial sum of money.
But, lest you start thinking about ditching your car and walking everywhere, listen to us out. You won't have to pay an arm and a leg for every secondhand car. There are still plenty of nice used car offers available. All you have to do is do your research, know where to shop, know what you're looking for, and, of course, stay within your budget.
Plus, these days, it's even more critical that you're asking the appropriate questions. What sort of questions? We're grateful you inquired. Before you decide whether or not to buy their old car, ask the seller (and yourself) the following questions. Then you may drive away confident that you've discovered a trustworthy set of wheels rather than a turkey.
Why is the car being sold?
This one will yield a lot of responses from the seller. Asking the seller about your inquiry and letting them speak for themselves is sometimes the best option. This allows you to look around, get to know the seller, and figure out why they're selling the car. Perhaps their family has recently welcomed their first child, necessitating the purchase of an SUV rather than a two-door coupe—their loss is your gain!
Little red lights should start waving about in your head if they break out in a sweat or quickly shift the subject. The owner may be trying to cut their losses by selling an automobile that has been giving them problems.
What is the car's age?
Most new cars lose 60% of their value after five years due to depreciation.
3 So, if you paid $30,000 for a new car five years ago, it's now only worth roughly $12,000. When bargaining for a better price, you can leverage the car's age—and how that make and model loses value over time—to your advantage.
So, before you go up to the showroom or meet with that Craigslist vendor, do your homework. That way, you'll know whether their tag price is reasonable or outrageous.
What is the car's fuel economy?
Mileage is important. According to the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation, the average person travels 14,263 miles per year. All of this causes wear and tear on the vehicle. When making your decision, keep this in mind. Some automobiles can travel a ridiculous amount of miles without missing a beat (hello, Honda). Others? Not at all. So, once you know how old the car is and how many miles it has, you can quickly determine whether the seller has been driving it into the ground or only on Sundays.
Can I bring the car to my mechanic for a second opinion?
Yes! If you just do one thing before buying a secondhand automobile, have it inspected by a reputable mechanic to ensure everything is in working order. Having a professional inspect the vehicle for any issues before they become your responsibility can give you peace of mind.
And if the seller nags you about it—or simply says no—likely it's that they're trying to hide something severe. Get out of that deal as soon as possible!
What effect will this car have on my car insurance rates?
When you switch cars, keep in mind how it may affect your car insurance bill. Your insurance costs will almost certainly increase if you trade in your hooptie for a newer model. Inquire with the seller about how much they pay for auto insurance so you can get an idea of how much it will cost to insure the vehicle.