Purchasing a pre-owned (used) car is usually the best choice from a financial standpoint. This is because a car is one of those things whose value depreciates quickly. Even for a brand-new vehicle, its value instantly depreciates as soon as you drive it out of the dealership lot. Buying a used car that’s still in good shape is a better option; you get to enjoy the vehicle’s services without paying the kind of exorbitant fees associated with brand-new vehicles. For example, Conklin Honda Salina is one of those dealerships that can offer you a great deal for a pre-owned car. You can find more info here about the kind of deals they have.

Like any purchase, you have to do your due diligence before choosing to buy a pre-owned car. Below is a guide on how to do that.

1) Research the Car to Buy

When you finally decide to buy a pre-owned car, you need to know which kind of car would suit you. Sometimes, you may have difficulty picturing the exact kind of car you want. An easy tip to follow is to start by examining your current situation. For example, what motivated you to decide to purchase a used car? Do you need it as a mode of transportation? Are you looking to start a delivery business? Are you tired of your old one? These questions will help set you on the right path. Once you have the answers to such questions, start by looking up local car dealerships and see if they have your preferred car in their inventory. You can also go online to search dealer sites in your county or state to see which ones have the best offers. Don’t forget to look for consumer reports regarding the kind of vehicle you’ve chosen to purchase. This will give you better insight into things like its safety ratings, seating capacity, fuel consumption, and other such indicators.

2) Examine Your Budget

Once you’ve ascertained the kind of used Honda vehicle you’d like to purchase, it’s time to sit down and assess your finances. If you don’t have the funds to pay for the car outright, you may need a car loan. You could contact a financial institution like a bank or a credit union if you belong to one. As a general rule, it’s always better to pay for your car in cash. This is because any kind of financing will involve interest rates and other surcharges. Paying cash means you’re paying strictly what you and the seller agreed to.

3) Find a Reputable Honda Car Dealer

Having secured the funds for purchasing your vehicle, it’s now time to contact the Honda dealer. This shouldn’t be hard as Honda car dealers are well known. If you’re unsure of a Honda dealership’s legitimacy, you can always check with their head office to clear any doubts you may have.

If you’re purchasing a Honda vehicle from a private seller, contact them to set up a meeting for you to inspect the merchandise (car).

4) Inspect the Car

This is a crucial step in the purchase of a used Honda car. You want to ensure that what you’re paying for is in good condition. It is advisable to bring an experienced mechanic with you for the inspection. Unless you’re a mechanic or someone with extensive experience inspecting cars, you may miss crucial defects that could become costly later on.

A good car inspection should ferret out any issues that could impact the sale of the car. Start by visually inspecting the car for any signs of scratched paint, rust, discoloration, or anything that seems off. Examine the tires to ensure that the treads are okay. A good trick is to put a penny between the tire treads. The tread wells should obscure most of the coin’s surface if observed at the tire level. This means the treads are okay. The idea is to look for any issues with the car. Such issues can then be used as negotiation points. Do the same with the interior of the car. A mechanic should be able to do some quick diagnostic tests to see if the vehicle has any serious issues.

5) Take the Vehicle for a Test Drive

Assuming everything is satisfactory up until that point, you’ll want to take the car for a short test drive, preferably for between 5 and 10 minutes. This gives you a feel for what it’ll be like once you purchase it. Also, you’ll notice things that may have been missed by the mechanic. For example, stuttering brakes or steering wheels that might be slightly off can be felt during a short test drive. Ask as many questions as you can while driving.

6) Negotiate the Price

If you’re satisfied with the car after the test drive, begin negotiating with the seller. Before that, you should have done your homework in the form of researching that particular car’s price range. Also, the Kelly Blue Book (KBB) guide is useful. It lists the prices of vehicles, both new and used. Use it as a yardstick to direct your negotiations. A good trick is to shave a couple of hundred dollars off the seller’s asking price during your opening spiel. If the car’s asking price is significant, many sellers will go for it because they know that a customer that walks out of the dealership without buying will likely never come back. If you found any issues during the vehicle inspection, now is the time to bring them up and use them to get a better price. 

7) Sign the Title

After agreeing on a price, it’s time to make the payment for the car so the seller can transfer its title to your name. Depending on where you live, there may be some rules governing this. Ensure to check this before finalizing the payment. Sometimes, a used car may have a lien on it, meaning the seller owes money to that car. This is usually recorded on the title. Ensure to examine the title carefully to ensure there are no liens on it. 

All in all, purchasing a used car, whether a Honda or any other brand, becomes much easier once you follow the above steps.

By Manali