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Use these four steps to buy a used car

Many shoppers find the freewheeling process of good used auto deal daunting. The Internet serves a plethora of information on how to find the best deal on used cars. This article sheds light on four main factors that you should consider while buying used autos, such as cars and trucks.

Read on to find out more.

Affordability
A rule of thumb suggests that if you are taking a loan to pay for your used car or truck, then it should not be more than 25 percent of your take-home pay. Used vehicles let you stay well within your affordability and budget. However, you need to pay extra attention to its maintenance and other ownership costs, such as fuel expenses and insurance. Hence, look for a used auto that fits well within the 25 percent margin.

Create a list of used cars
Most of the cars cost a couple of $1000 dollars more (or less) based on the car manufacturer and the type of car. Hence, create a list and consider including cars of different brands. Auto experts suggest shortlisting three used cars of the same budget and pick the best on the basis of its technical specifications, age, mileage, overall condition, etc. Consider certified pre-owned (CPO), if you are planning to buy a vehicle that is less than five years old.

Check the vehicle history
Once you have narrowed down your favorite car and have contacted the seller, plan to get a vehicle history report because it helps in making better decisions and change your preferred car sooner in case it has a bad history. Sources like AutoCheck and Carfax reveal the vehicle history about almost every used auto. To get this information, you will need the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the license plate number of the used car or truck.

Test-drive the car
This is yet another crucial step in finding the best used auto. Test-driving a car helps in deciding if it is the right make and model for you. Check every factor that contributes to a comfortable driving, right from the seating position to engine performance. Pop up the hood and check if all the electrical and powertrain connections are intact. Check the engine response when you accelerate or shift gears. It is also advised to take the car to an experienced mechanic for a detailed inspection. It might cost you a couple of $100 dollars, but it will help you find the problems (if any) that aren’t apparent and visible while test-driving the car.

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