Individuals that are looking at purchasing a vehicle that have cash on hand but do not want a car payment normally are looking at a used vehicle. But the difficulty on these purchases is most do not have a warranty and the unknown on how much maintenance has been done to keep the vehicle in good running condition.
Used car lots can do a really great job of making a vehicle with high miles seem like it is a great purchase but give you no idea how much good use you will have before a major repair can happen. Next the used car lots specialize in maximizing profit on selling used vehicles. Lastly they want you to purchase it through them and also finance it so they can make even more money on the deal.
My answer is be patient and stick to your budget. This can be really hard to do for most individuals because of either the need for transportation and/or they find a vehicle that looks amazing but is just a little bit our of their price range.
To combat the want, have a friend that is a true friend helps you look at the vehicle and make sure that you stay in your budget. Just remember that your friend has been asked by you to be the bad guy and don’t allow yourself to become angry when they remind you to stay within the budget.
The largest problem is how do you know if the vehicle has been maintained? Look at the tires right away. It is very similar to looking at someone’s shoes. The more they have been worn the worse shape they will be in. Tires should have at least three millimeters of tread depth in order for you to avoid replacing the tires soon. How you can tell is by using a penny. Turn President Lincoln’s head upside down and put it in the tread in at least three spots on the radius of the tire. If you can see all of the President’s head then the tires need to be replaced.
Then for your knowledge, always have a professional, look at the vehicle. This inspection is normally one labor hour for taking the technicians time to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and let you know of possible problems and if the vehicle has been maintained. This inspection can’t predict everything that could go wrong but it could definitely help you decide if this vehicle is a good choice or not.
Remember patience and stick to your budget. Always have a professional look at the vehicle and this could save you some headaches in the future after that used vehicle purchase. Drive safely!