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In the age of having things done easy and fast, owning a car has become a necessity and is not considered as a luxury anymore. The market for new cars is rapidly growing, which also means that there is a rapidly growing market for used cars, and if you are a rookie, buying a pre-owned car seems feasible. However, this might seem a little daunting for first-time buyers because buying a second-hand car is not as easy as buying a new car. While a new car is backed with a manufacturer warranty, trust, flawless condition, and free services, a used car does not necessarily hold true any of these factors. Peace of mind is hard to find while shopping for a used car and the chances of getting fleeced are high. But not all aspects of buying a second-hand car are bad; this is a good option if you are living on limited means. Knowing where and how to buy a used car can alleviate the tension of the same.

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There are certain things to keep in mind before buying a used car and if you are willing to invest your time and money on one, then here’s a list to help simplify the process of selection and convert the transaction into a hassle-free affair.

Know Your Budget

Before you start your search for a good deal on a pre-owned car, you must spend some time considering the many factors that would have been considered before buying a new car – the usage of the vehicle, the duration of using it and how much can you afford when making the buy. The budget must include insurance, operation, maintenance and repair costs. This will help you overshooting your finances and choosing better.

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Choosing A Model

Once you have fixed your budget, the next step is to decide what car suits your lifestyle and needs. The need to anticipate future needs and lifestyle changes are important as you will probably own and use the same car for many more years. Narrowing down your dream list is a little bit more difficult for used cars than new ones as there are so many used cars available. Talking to friends and relatives is a good option but they are not completely dependable as their experiences are limited. Looking online would rather give a wider range of information and is a good source to rummage around on automobiles and their specifications.

If you are prioritizing the budget then picking a smaller newer car rather than a larger older car is recommended because a larger yet older car will have running costs like fuel, maintenance, tires and spares will need more money. Cars that are 3-5 years old and have been treated well by its owner is a good buy, the ones that have logged around 18000 km a year are prime buys but the ones flogged badly by chauffeurs or heavily used are cars that cause trouble.

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Online Reviews

In today’s world, we value the previous customer’s experience so much that it influences our judgment even before getting our hands on it. Going through reviews submitted online is quite helpful as they give a wide range of knowledge and a lot of topics are mentioned that you wouldn’t even have considered or thought of. A good way to check the reviews online for used cars is to check reviewsxp. They have a simplified reviewing system for both, the people submitting their reviews and the ones who will be reading them. The reviews are categorized according to different brands and a genuine group of people submitting reviews as per their experiences.

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Be Aware Of Fraudulent Sellers

You can buy a car from many sources like from an individual, a dealer or also go online which in recent times has turned out to be a good option for trading old cars. One thing to take care of is checking the analog odometer readings which can be clocked. This fraud is practiced by thousands of individual sellers and is done nationwide to turn a high mileage car into a low mileage car and increase its value. Note if the car with low mileage has a lot of wear on the driver’s seat or the brake and accelerator, this will indicate that the meter has been tampered with. The second thing to discern is the number on the vehicle registration card which should correspond to the number on the car else it signifies a stolen car.

Doing Proper Inspection

Have a mechanic look into the vehicle before signing the papers. An individual seller will let you bring a mechanic but the dealer may not be that interested. In these cases, don’t refrain from checking the vehicle on your own.  Make sure to inspect the chassis of the car and look for dents, damage, rust and the tire condition, since you might have to bear the cost of fixing these later. Watch out for any possible leaks and also check if the car has the original engine. If you still feel unsure, you can call your mechanic and speak to him about what you see and ask him to give you insights into the car. If possible ask for the service history which should be in the service booklet or owner’s manual as that will show you if proper maintenance has been performed and where. Check the interior of the car thoroughly and look at parts and accessories such as lights, horn, mirrors, seat belt, radio, AC and windows. Check the doors and locks and see if they work well or not.

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Take A Test Drive

The test drive is an essential part of the process. This would give you a feel of the car and help you arrive at the decision if the car is a fit for you or it isn’t. The test drive should be preferably done on different road conditions and should be for at least 4 to 5 km. What you need to check for while driving is the condition of the brake and clutch and also check if the speedometer, as well as the mileage recorder, is working properly. If there is a constant vibration in the steering, it indicates serious damage to the engine. Pay attention to noises from the engine especially at sharp turns and over bumps and potholes. Change the speed on different road condition to see if the vehicle withstands it. Also, check all the electronics like the air conditioner and radio while driving. And lastly, ask yourself whether you like the feel and find the handling of the car comfortable.

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After the process of selection is complete, you must check the documents thoroughly before communicating your decision. Negotiate your way into a great deal but be reasonable. If the seller presents a too good to be a true offer and you find it a little fishy, then do not hesitate to walk away from that deal.  Now that you have all the information you need, you can go ahead on your car hunt and get the car of your dreams to drive on!

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