How to buy a used car?

Arguably, after a home or land, a car is the second biggest investment anyone will make in their life. Also, as a depreciating asset, it is not an easy decision to make. Let me try to make the car-buying process easy.

I have been selling cars for over a decade, and I can tell you that it is not an easy decision to make for most customers. It's not only the limited product-knowledge but spending their hard-earned money on a depreciating asset and they have to choose from over a million options. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself before entering any used car showroom and make sure that you drive out with the right car. I call it a five-step process for buying a car:

  1. Usage/Shape - You need to ask yourself, "what do I need the new car for?" Some people buy it as their first car or a second car, for dropping kids to school, buying groceries, for a commute to the office, etc. Remember, if you try to kill two birds with one arrow, chances are that you will end up buying a car that you will come to regret soon. For example, you need a 7 seater car thinking that you have some guests coming next month or need extra seats occasionally, and at the same time, you need this car to go to office daily. Yes, it serves both purposes; however, sooner or later, you will hate using that car to go to the office as it is too big or consumes a lot of fuel in traffic, etc. There are many similar scenarios

  2. Colour - It sounds like an unconvincing factor, but it is imperative as most car-buying decisions are emotional. I suggest you keep your options open by deciding what colour you would NOT buy. Yes, you read it right. Eliminating the colours that you do not like will give you a few options to ponder upon, and you will have a better list of cars to choose from

  3. Fuel consumption - With the rising cost of fuel and Government's initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions globally, you need to choose a car that solves the purpose and does not hurt your pocket at the same time. Remember, the best comfort and luxury comes at a price. You will notice that the most comfortable and stylish cars commonly come with a bigger engine. If you compare the prices, they are not much expensive than most economy cars. The reason is simple, you can buy that high-end luxury car at a reasonable price, but keep paying the high fuel bills for the following years. I am not demotivating you from buying those cars, but do your math before making a commitment. Once you have made a choice based on the fuel consumption, your list has further narrowed down to a finer selection

  4. Safety - Checking the safety rating before buying a car is increasingly becoming crucial. Government charges you less road user charges if your car has better safety ratings as it reduces the chances of accidents and fatality as well. Always ask for the safety ratings of the car from the seller or do your own research at Better safety ratings of the car not only saves you in an accident, but avoids accidents altogether. There is no harm in paying a little more for the safety of your family and yourself

  5. Budget - Most people will argue that this should be the first criteria for selecting the vehicle, but if you have followed the first four steps thoroughly, most of the filtered options will fall into your budget or at least they will give you an estimate on what your budget should be. Remember, you have to be reasonable at this. Do not expect everything for nothing. If you are a cash buyer, then your budget will be a figure for the car; however, if you want to finance the car then work out on the weekly budget. For more information on financing, keep following my blogs or contact

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