The luxury of buying a brand new vehicle is not an option that is realistic for everyone, with the majority of us having to settle for a used vehicle, within our available budgets. Knowing what to look for and when to do it, can enable you to get the right vehicle and avoid having to pay too much for it. Regardless of whether you are buying privately, or from a dealer, there are a few useful tips that it is good to be aware of, to help you find the right deal.
How Are You Paying?
It is very easy when shopping for a second hand car to be tempted by a model slightly newer and more expensive than you were planning on spending, which can lead to problems keeping up with the extra payments if you are buying on finance. The smartest move is to have a very definite figure in your head of what you can realistically afford, either with a cash payment, loan, finance or combination and rigidly stick to it. Once a seller knows you will not move beyond a certain price, he will either stop pushing you for a bit extra and accept your offer, or steer you towards something within your price range. To avoid nasty surprises, always check what the insurance on the vehicle is going to be, before you commit yourself to the deal.
What Do You Need?
Wandering around a car forecourt on a whim is likely to see you walk away with something that looks great, but which may not suit your needs. Take time to sit down and write a checklist on why you are buying the vehicle and what you are likely to have to be able to fit inside it. For the single person it is much simpler than if you have a family, where kids and their associated strollers or sports gear needs to fit in the boot. Criteria to consider include whether it will be used for around town or long distance mileage, servicing costs and spare parts prices, petrol or diesel, automatic or manual, and specific needs, such as the option to be able to tow.
When To Buy
There are many second hand cars in Canberra, and used vehicle prices are ever fluctuating, so knowing when to buy can save you a good chunk of cash, especially when buying from a dealer. Private sales may be cheaper after Christmas, when many people have received a new car as a gift and are selling the old one. Dealers tend to operate around quarterly sales targets, and may offer good deals part way through the third month to achieve them, though leaving it late may mean you miss out once their numbers have been achieved. Similarly, the start of the month when people have been paid tends to see prices rise, as does the period when tax rebates are flowing.
Clean And Reliable
Be sure to check the vehicles servicing history, and if it is a private sale, have the vehicle independently checked to ensure it is in good condition and safe. Dealers should fix any problems with the vehicle and provide some form of warranty, and it is always worth trying to get them to extend that as much as is possible. Knowing current prices in the area, will definitely help you the bargaining power to get a few extras, to secure the deal.