How to buy used cars and where to find them online

Posted by

Do you need a new ride but your budget is a bit short to purchase a new one? Are you planning to get a car but you find the process of looking for and buying a vehicle too exhausting?

Good thing, the internet boasts of a bevy of virtual car lots, lined with everything from mid-size sedans to all-terrain pickup trucks. These sites allow you to swap the salesman and pressure-laden environment for a comfortable desk chair, while providing you with all the necessary information regarding each car’s condition and history. However, the question still remains – which site is the most competent and is free from scammers, crooks, and the like?

Well, there are a lot of websites today that sell used cars but only a few have earned the reputation of being the best ones that provide its users with satisfactory online car shopping experience.

First, there is Cars.com a site that serves as a deep and extensive resource for anyone shopping for a used car. The site’s filters allow you to search for your soon-to-be car based on make, model, and the best price for any used or certified pre-owned car in your area, Once you find your desired car, the website provides quick links to the car’s various Carfax reports. Moreover, you’re given the option to send an instant message the dealer or owner directly if they’re currently online or a simple email if they’re not.

ad

You could also try searching for a second-hand car at AutoTrader.com. Looking for a specific model is quite efficient in the site as its initial search lets you choose the make, model, and price of your desired car akin to most sites on the list, but you can also filter your results based on the type of car you want, its fuel economy, exact specifications, among other integral features. AutoTrader.com even gives you the option to search for Business Elite model Chevy or GMC commercial vehicles at any given moment.

autotrader

Autolist.com is another note-worthy site that also can give you good used car deals anytime, anywhere because it has a leg up on the competition when it comes to mobile connectivity. While the Autolist website is attractive and easy-to-use on your desktop, the Autolist app is one of the most popular used car resources currently available for Android and iOS.

autolist

The mobile software allows you to scour the databases of other used car apps, as well as dealership websites. It also provides helpful information, such as how long the vehicle has been on sale, how its asking price has fluctuated over time, and what its CarFax report looks like. For those who prefer to shop for their next ride on the go, this may be the resource for you.

Ebay sells second hand cars too. Through eBayMotors.com, you can easily find good quality Toyota used cars, top-of-the-line pre-owned Chevys, and many others brands offering sedans, coupes, and trucks.

ebay

The site works by determining whether each resulting car is from a classified advertisement or part of an online auction. Like most other features of the site, each seller has a feedback score and a rating to assist you with the proper purchase. The seller also provides vehicle information and a history report, along with the desired price and various shipping options.

Now that you already know the best websites where you can find your new ride, it is also important that you know what to look for. Even though there are many good, brand-new choices now, there are still some compelling choices to get a second- or even third-hand vehicle.

Then again, buying used cars definitely has its pitfalls. Unlike a brand-new car with which you expect to have everything running smoothly, a used car’s reliability depends on several things like the manufacturer’s engineering standards, the mileage on the car, and the previous owner’s driving and maintenance habits.

Here are some tips before you buy a used car:

More often than not, a used car that has a higher mileage means more parts needs to be replaced because when the car is in use, its parts start to wear out as it reaches the 60,000 kilometer mark. These can be relatively inexpensive like brake pads and fuel filters, but could steadily get bigger like a transmission overhaul, a new radiator or new A/C compressor.

car-parts

You can’t be too cheap when looking for a used car. You can be thrifty as much as you want but not when the worn out parts needs to be replaced. Delaying the repair could cost you more later on. This is especially true for the cooling system where delaying a needed replacement can only lead to more problems.

car-engine

Also, when buying a used car, you must set aside a budget for two things: one, for purchasing the car, and another for the parts that needs to be replaced. If you still have extra budget on hand, it is wise to set aside about 20% of the cost of the car for the necessary fixes that your pre-owned car might initially need.

It also pays that you do your homework in researching about the car you saw online. You may talk to your friends who are car enthusiasts or someone who owns the same model that you want. To get a feel for the market price of the car you’re looking for, visit used-car dealerships. Also, check the Internet for the cost of parts, and list down several shops that stock up on your prospective car’s parts.

You would also like to consider inspecting the vehicle itself thoroughly. Set up a meeting with the seller before depositing to his or her account. You need to see it first in daylight to check the quality of the paint and check the car for spots, dents, and scratches. Also, inspect the engine bay. If you see signs of filler in the engine, this is a clue that the car has been involved in a front-end collision.

inspecting-car

For the interior, tug on the seatbelts to see if they work, try out the seats if they still have cushioning, and check the instrument panel if all the gauges and lights work. Also, test the A/C at both its lowest and highest settings, and see how long it takes to cool the vehicle.

Furthermore, it is advised that you ask for the service records of the car. Have a copy of the log that’s issued to every car, or an orderly collection of receipts gathered by the seller from having it maintained outside the casa. You do need to have this information.

Just like when buying a brand new car, you should also test-drive used ones. A simple run down tests can reveal some problem that you might want to know as early as possible. Turn the steering at full lock left and right, and listen for knocking or tugging sounds; these indicate problems with the steering. You should also do a brief, full-throttle acceleration and listen to the engine and transmission for strange noises. A simulated panic stop would also help to see how well the brakes work, or if the car tends to steer to the left or right.

Buying used cars could be very risky. When you are wise enough to know where to find the best deals online, and if you are aware of the things that you need to consider before buying, it is possible that you can find that perfect ride of your dreams.