In a modern world, especially if you are living in the city, owning a car is a necessity that grants you freedom, mobility, and comfort. And, it is especially important to have a vehicle when you are a student.
Purchasing a used car is an optimal solution for most students. Of course, it sounds tempting to opt for a brand new vehicle that you pick up straight from the showroom. However, there is no need to sugarcoat it – buying a new car is expensive and will drain your budget. Not to mention how much time it may take to save up for such a large purchase.
The best way to avoid such an expense is to pick an older, used car. As a rule, this decision will help you save a lot on the vehicle price, and related expenses like the cost of owning, insurance, etc.
So, you’ve decided to buy a car, what’s next? Many young people are not aware of the possible hidden issues associated with this decision. They tend to rush into it, but it is the wrong approach. You can’t just thoughtlessly purchase any used vehicle. Otherwise, you risk buying a pig in a poke.
To make things right, you have to carefully plan your purchase. To make things easier, we’ve prepared some tips for you to make a wise choice.
1. Take Your Time
It takes time to save up for and choose the car you like. Don’t rush to buy the first option you see. Instead, be thoughtful, careful, and take as much time as you need.
Often, working to save some money and then looking through plenty of options will take a fair amount of your time. Thus, it can make you focus less on your studies. We advise having a backup plan, for example, getting help from pro writers at https://essaypro.com/essay-help.html. That will ensure that you don’t give up on your studies completely. This way, even when you don’t have enough time for everything, you will know that your grades remain high.
2. Start Saving in Advance
Unless you have a very well-paid job, you will likely need some time to save money for your ride. The earlier you start saving up, the faster you will have a sufficient budget for this purchase.
As a student, you might need to find a part-time job. That will allow you to save money and buy a decent car you actually like.
3. Define your Budget and Stick to It
Planning to make a large purchase it is vital to designate a specific budget. This way you will know for sure how much you can spend.
Also, choosing your options, stick to that budget. Don’t opt for premium class vehicles if you can’t afford them. Often, buying a premium level car for cheap will cause you lots of additional expenses in the future.
4. Make a List of Cars you Like
Although a car is often just a means of transportation, it should bring you satisfaction. Thus, think of the models you like, make a list, and then, following our tips, pick the most optimal choice. Consult with your family or friend who owns a car. Buying your first vehicle is a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone.
5. Consider your Area when Choosing a Car
This is a vital tip to keep in mind. Areas with different weather and road conditions require a specific vehicle type and this is something you have to keep in mind. For example, for crowded cities, a good choice would be an economical and compact car. Meanwhile, an SUV would be a great choice for inaccessible areas with a hilly landscape and bad roads.
6. Keep your Driving Skills in Mind
Your safety should be at the top of your priority list. Thus, you should keep in mind your driving skills when choosing a used car. For example, if this is the first ride you are getting, don’t opt for a too powerful or fast vehicle. Check if all safety cushions are present and seat belts operate properly.
7. Keep an Eye on the Price
As a student, you might not want to make a too expensive purchase. Luckily, with the help of online resources like Kelly’s Blue Book, you can determine the true market value of your options. Using this source, you will get a rough idea of how much a chosen model should cost That will protect you from being tricked into buying an overpriced car.
8. Know Where to Seek Options
There are quite a few ways to find a used car. You can use online platforms like Cars.com or UsedCars.com. Also, you can search for advertisements from individual sellers in local newspapers.
Don’t forget about dealers. Often, they would have a showroom with different options. However, keep in mind that buying from a dealer is usually more expensive.
9. Always Request a Mechanic Check
Let’s face the truth – an older and already used car has higher chances of having mechanical issues. Besides, you are not going to get any kind of a warranty for it. That’s why getting it checked by a mechanic is absolutely necessary before you give someone your precious money.
A thorough check will help you determine if a vehicle has any current issues that need to be addressed. Moreover, you will get an idea of what problems may arise in the future. Here is a brief check-list of the features and things to keep an eye on:
Brakes, indicator lights, headlights, wipers, horn, and other safety features;
Brake cylinder and drum;
Transmission and engine (typically, these are the most pricey parts, so you want to make sure that you won’t have to repair them any time soon);
Mileage – the fewer, the better;
Power and pick up during acceleration;
Records of maintenance and other work that has been done;
Air filter, valves, etc.;
Interior – check if it is not worn out too much.
Pro tip: don’t purchase a cheap vehicle that requires big investments. In many cases, it ends up costing you two or even three times more the car itself.
10. Request a Vehicle History Report
Often, dealers, as well as individual sellers, sell vehicles that have been restored after accidents or simply have a shady past. In order to avoid any mechanical or legal issues, you should always check a history report of each option.