A gorgeous machine that allows you to travel anywhere with freedom may seem like an asset, but cars are undoubtedly liabilities.
They lose value the longer you use them and the repair costs can quickly add up over the years.
In fact, a brand new car starts losing value the minute it rolls off the showroom floor. Which is why the easiest way to save money on buying a car is to buy a used one.
But buying a used car is not for the faint-hearted. Itâ€™s a lot more complicated than buying a new car and itâ€™s easy to get ripped off if you donâ€™t know much about cars.
Here are some tips on saving money on a used car purchase:
Buy and sell privately
Cut out the middleman and go out looking for owners directly.
Which leads to the next point on the list –
When you interact directly with a seller itâ€™s important to haggle as much as possible. No one can accurately tell what a car is worth, so the buyer and seller have to come to terms with an approximate value they can both agree with.
Youâ€™re probably leaving money on the table if you donâ€™t attempt a tough negotiation. Do the research, find out what other similar cars are selling for and never pay the initial list price.
Figure out your driving needs
The only way to figure out which car is best is to know what you want from a car. Do you need a sporty car for long distance drives or a small car thatâ€™s easy to park in the city where you work?
You may be willing to pay extra for an eco-friendly version or extra boot space. Picking between a petrol and diesel is also tricky. Spend the time creating a checklist of features you need from a car before you go out hunting for the perfect one.
Pay attention to running costs
The sticker price isnâ€™t everything. Running costs need to be considered when buying a car. Before you meet a seller, do some research to figure out how much the car will likely cost in the long run.
Consider facts such as taxes, repair costs, spare parts, fuel consumption and insurance premiums.
Time it right
You may be able to slash costs by buying at the right time. A used car is usually a good buy a year or so after itâ€™s first purchase. Youâ€™ll get better deals with more years, but itâ€™ll add the risks of repair costs.
If you buy from a dealer, go in at the end of the quarter. Dealers are under pressure to sell more at this time and are more likely to offer a better deal.
Have a checklist ready for inspection
Finally, have a checklist for everything you need to inspect in a used car. Get an expert to help you craft it and leave no stone unturned.