A Buyer’s Guide around Used Cars

With the increase in fuel efficiency, longer life expectancy, and improved technology, the demand for buying used cars is at an all-time high. People have observed that investing in a pre-owned vehicle is more economical than purchasing a brand new one due to cheaper rates, insurance premiums, and overall better alternatives. 

However, finding and investing in the right used car is easier said than done! Before buying one, you have to make sure it works well, is in your budget, and has acceptable mileage, among other factors. It can be a lengthy and cumbersome process if you do not have a carefully laid out plan before buying a used car. However, various online websites like Gettacar and Budgen Motors used cars act as a bridge between buyers and sellers, thus helping you in the process of selection.

Given below is an easy 8 step guide you should keep in mind before investing in a pre-owned car.

  • Budget decision and Payment scheme

Things that are to be kept in mind while making a budget are dealership fees, sales tax, maintenance cost, potential damage and repair costs, and annual registration fees. 

Also, one should think about their payment options like paying full price in cash, or cash down payment and the rest through loans, longer loans, or shorter loans.

You should weigh the pros and cons of all the options before deciding on a method.

  • Determine wants and needs

One must be clear about what they want from their car. Some of the critical factors to be kept in mind are-

  • Make and Model preferred – Choose a car which has a famous manufacturer with a good reputation. This will ensure you get spare parts quickly, if and when necessary. 
  • Size of the car – The size of the vehicle should be according to requirements whether you want a small nifty vehicle for the daily commute or looking for a family SUV or a sleeker sedan option.
  • Safety stats – Some basic safety features like ABS, ECS, head protection, and frontal airbags should be included.
  • Age of car and mileage – One must make sure that the car’s age and mileage are well enough to go on for a considerable amount of time. 
  • Proper research and inspection

Proper research and inspection is the most crucial step. You should check on Gettacar or Consumer reports and such places to make sure that your seller is not ripping you off.

Also, be suspicious if the seller is quoting a much lesser price than standard as it might point to the fact that he is trying to sell a car with hidden defects. 

For inspection, check everything from mileage to the history of repairs, service history, safety issues, and payment options. 

  • Test drive before buying

It is essential that you buy a car only after a test drive – be it new or used. One should pick a familiar route with highways and small streets and if possible, a parking space to make sure everything works fine.

One can also bring along their mechanic or a friend or relative to get the best inspection possible. The key points to look for are-

  1. Comfort- Check how comfortable the car actually is, be it the front seat or the back. 
  2. Check the controls – Check each and every control, from the brakes to the audio system, wipers, etc., to make sure everything is in good condition.
  3. Observe – While driving, observe how smoothly the car is running and how well you can handle it.
  • Negotiate price

Although negotiation of the price is not a necessity, it is recommended for a good buy. However, one should learn which dealers to negotiate with. If someone pushes you for sale, then it is advisable to walk away from it.

On the other hand, a good dealer will allow you to weigh and think through your pros and cons as this is a fairly huge investment. 

The best way to negotiate is to be prepared beforehand. You can negotiate on the basis of any problems you have come across during inspection, if possible, bring your mechanic to quote a price, and bring necessary documents and a calculator to make sure all the prices are legitimate. 

  • Check warranty

Used cars generally do not come with warranties, unlike new ones. However, a dealer can get you an extended warranty if possible. Extended warranty refers to the type where the dealership takes up a certain percentage of the cost of repair.

Also, if the car is under 3 years old the manufacturer can provide a warranty on the condition that it is transferable. 

One should check the warranty ( if any) for transferability, cost of warranty vs. cost of repairs, and service coverage. 

  • Registration and transfer of title 

Title transfer and registration of the car must be done during the transaction. However, if it is a private car, one must do it on their own. 

  1. The title of the car must be transferred to your name.
  2. Emission test to be conducted.
  3. Get a safety inspection done.
  4. Obtain proof of insurance.
  5. Provide identification of more than one kind.
  6. Provide proof of address.
  • Keep an eye on the delivery of your vehicle

There are a few things that you need to be sure of, before you are all geared up to receive your car. Make sure you check out the suggested factors mentioned below:

  • Always go with the right shipping agency
  • Make sure your documents are clear and good to go
  • Fill in your transporter with all the right details of your vehicle.

While these were some of the basics around delivery, there are a few mistakes to avoid on shipping as well. Keep yourself updated! 


Even though it can be a tiresome and lengthy process, it is absolutely worthy of your time when you get a good car. As buying a used car is an economic decision, one should carefully assess all the important factors like budget, insurance rates, mileage, the present market value of the car, etc. It can actually help you to save a little money while getting all the features and advantages you require in a car.

Author: Brandon Park