Bright colors and lowered prices try to attract customers to a California used car lot

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

It’s expensive to buy a brand new vehicle. In fact, retail prices are up 3.2 percent when comparing car prices in 2017 with the previous year. That puts the average price of a new vehicle at just over $33,400. Besides the expense of buying the vehicle, there is also insurance, registration, and routine maintenance.

For those needing a new vehicle, buying used is often times a better option. Probably one of the best benefits of buying a used car is that it won’t depreciate in value as quickly. In some cases, a brand new vehicle depreciates in value by 11% as soon as it’s driven off the lot, and by another 25% just one year after having the vehicle.

While it can be advantageous to buy used instead of new, there are things every buyer needs to do before buying a used car.

Get the History of the Vehicle

When it comes to used cars, it’s always a good idea to get the history of the vehicle before making the purchase. This can easily be done by getting a CARPROOF Vehicle History Report. All it takes is entering the car’s VIN number and the potential buyer can find out the following information about the used car:

  • If the vehicle has previously been in an accident
  • Whether or not the vehicle has a lien on it
  • Whether or not the vehicle has any unfixed safety recalls
  • The value of the used vehicle

While there is a charge for this service, it’s a great way for potential car buyers to know everything they can about a used vehicle before making the purchase.

Take the Vehicle for a Test Drive

Taking the car for a test drive is a great way to ensure the vehicle runs well and also whether or not it suits the specific needs of the driver. The vehicle should be tested in different situations, including going uphill, making frequent stops, and driving on the highway.

Other things to check for during a test drive include:

  • The car produces strange sounds or smells while being driven
  • The breaks are nice and smooth or they shake and vibrate
  • The vehicle pulls to the right or to the left while being driven

If any of these signs are noticed, the buyer should either not buy the vehicle or negotiate with the dealer or previous owner for a lower price.