Six Rookie Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Used Car

Buying Used Car

Buying used cars is a hobby for some people, especially classic car enthusiasts.

However, for many others, it’s a way of saving money. Why buy a new car when you can find a used one that works great?

While purchasing a used car seems straightforward, for many novices, it’s very easy to make rookie mistakes that are costly in time and money.

Here are the six rookie mistakes you should avoid when buying a used car.

1. Overspending

You are probably purchasing a used car because you want to save money. So, why go over your budget?

It’s wise to set a budget and stick to it.

Be sure other expenses await you after taking the car home such as ceramic coating car, insurance and repairs. If it’s a classic vehicle, it may come with fuel and maintenance costs.

Think of the expenses that come after purchasing a used car, and it will give you an idea of its real value. Then, you can decide if it’s in your budget range or not.

Also, avoid the trap of overpaying for a car because you didn’t research its retail cost. You can find out the right retail price of a used car by checking Kelly Blue Books and NADA guides.

2. Not verifying information

You can’t just meet with a seller and buy a car, trusting it is in excellent condition. That’s how people get conned.

Start by looking up information online or from car experts concerning the vehicle you want to purchase. Are you going to find spare parts for it? Does your mechanic think it’s in great condition and worth spending money on?

Also, is it a genuine car? Is the seller the rightful owner?

Taking your time to research the car, having someone inspect it for flaws, and checking out the seller’s information will save you from losses.

3. Buying the wrong car

A vehicle may look and perform excellently but still be wrong for you.

Before you buy a used car, take time to outline what your needs are.

For example: Do you have kids? How many people are in your family? What kind of roads are you likely to drive on often? What about luggage space, do you need a lot of it? And, of course the fuel economy?

Consider all these factors when buying a used vehicle to help you make the right choice.

If you have a family, you need a vehicle they can fit in. If you regularly drive on rough roads, an off-road vehicle will suit you better than a town car.

Picking the right vehicle for your needs is essential when purchasing a used car.

4. Ignoring modern features

Yes, you are purchasing a used car, but why miss out on modern features?

Unless you are buying a classic car that doesn’t come with modern features because of its date of manufacture, get a used vehicle with modern features and requirements. Find a car with;

  • Navigation: Get a car that will take you to unknown destinations easily. The days working with a paper map are gone.
  • Infotainment: The era of suffering long road trips without entertainment is over too. Buy a used car with a radio and Bluetooth capabilities, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes.
  • Parking assistance: Parking is not always easy, especially in tight spaces. Your used car should have some parking assist technology to help you do it right.

Other tech features you can look for are; emergency brake assistance, a blind spot monitor, reverse assist, cruise control, and GPS.

You may also like to read: Tips to Buy Cheap Cars Online

5. Going too far

Ok, you are now looking for extras in a used car, but is there something like going too far?

Yes! There is.

You can go too far when purchasing a used car if you;

  • Get unnecessary extras such as seat warmers

These extra features only take too much of the car’s battery charge and fuel. Stick to the basics.

  • Get excited over the vehicles outer appearance

It only takes a good car paint job with a ceramic coating or some other car protectant and any vehicle will look great. Do you know what’s under the hood? Focus on the big stuff.

  • Not getting everything in writing

Paperwork is important when purchasing a used car. It gives you information concerning previous owners and repairs done to the car.

You need it to ensure you are buying a genuine vehicle and understand any repairs.

Write a contract with your salesman. Any agreement should be in writing otherwise in future, if you have problems with the car, you won’t have anything to hold the salesman to.

In case you want to sell the car in days to come, potential buyers will require some documentation showing the car’s history too.

6. Not going for a test drive

You see it! You want it! You don’t think of trying it out?

That’s the trap many used car buyers fall into. Avoid it!

Take the car for a test drive; and if the seller won’t allow it, ditch that deal. Chances are something is wrong with the car.

When you test drive it, look out for any flaws and ask for clarifications about it.


These are six mistakes you should avoid when buying a used car. Heed our advice and make an informed purchase!


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