After filing taxes and getting the return, the next move is to decide what to do with your refund. Some choose to add the amount into saving, while others make a purchase. The most popular purchase that is made is a vehicle. Since it is tax season, using the refund as a down payment helps in the long run.
More and more people are buying used vehicles over new ones. There are many incentives to buying a used over a new vehicle. It helps save money on insurance, registration, taxes and depreciation. Vehicles today are very reliable and so it just makes sense to go the used route.
Buying a vehicle can be very stressful for everyone. At A&J Collision Repair, we want to help make that process easier. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure the purchase of a vehicle is a good one. Some steps that can be taken prior to even stepping onto a car lot would be to: set your budget, choose the right vehicle, check reliability and ownership costs, locate good used vehicles, price the vehicle, check the vehicle history report, contact the seller, go on a test drive, negotiate the best price, and close the deal. These are all important factors to consider since a vehicle is a big purchase for anyone.
Setting the Budget
When purchasing a vehicle there are only two ways to purchase it; paying cash or taking out a loan. If paying with cash, that makes budgeting simple. However, it is best to not spend all the contents of the savings. There needs to be money set aside for registration and insurance. If using a loan, it is best to put 10% down and finance the vehicle for three years.
Choose the Right Vehicle
The most fun part, picking your vehicle. It is important to take inconsideration what the vehicle will be used for. Narrow the field by making a list of must have features. Based on that list, search for models that will fit your needs best.
Check Reliability and Ownership Costs
Every used vehicle is different. Some have gone more miles than others and some have more wear and tear. It is best to pick a vehicle known for dependability. While some cars are cheap to buy, they may have issues in the long run because of maintenance and repairs.
Locate Good Vehicles
There are lots of websites that list used vehicles. Each site has its own character. Go with that best fits your list of needs.
Price the Vehicle
Once there are several models of vehicles chosen, look up their price. This can be done through several vehicle model pricing guides found online such as Kelly Blue Book and NADA. When doing this make sure to include the year, make, model, options (such as navigation), mileage, and condition level.
Check the Vehicle History Report
It is good to run a history report on the vehicle before ever going to see it. Running the report only requires the VIN number. This is to make sure there is a clean title, any serious accidents, and if there was regular maintenance done on the vehicle.
Contact the Seller
By calling the seller, you will get a lot of questions answered and it will save you some time. A few basic questions to ask are: how many owners have there been, are the service records available, do you have the title and is it clear, can I have the car inspected by a mechanic?
Test Drive the Vehicle
Until now the vehicle has not been driven. When you go to test drive make sure to drive on various roads, (hills, rough pavement, curves and a stretch of highway), that way you can feel how it drives on all road types. You will want to pay attention to the following: visibility, acceleration and cornering, brakes, ergonomics, mechanical condition.
Inspect the Vehicle
If the vehicle drives well and seems to be in good condition, it should still be taken to a mechanic. Here at A&J Collision Repair, we offer a free pre-purchase inspection. You can bring a vehicle that you are hoping to purchase, and we can inspect it for you. We will look it over and make sure that all components are working properly.
Negotiate the Best Price
This part of buying a vehicle always stresses people. If you have done the proper research, this will be a piece of cake. When offered the price compare it to the average market price. It is up to the seller to either accept your offer or make a counteroffer.
Close the Deal
Before taking ownership of your vehicle, add it to your insurance. Then, you will only need to pay for the vehicle. Make sure to get the title and have the seller sign it correctly. Once the sale contract is signed, the vehicle is yours. Take time to review the contract and do not let yourself be pressured into signing it just to get it over with.
Receptionist, A&J Collision Repair
1215 Thomas G Wilson Dr
Conway, AR 72032