A used car checklist can help you make sure you're researching wisely to find the vehicle that's just right for you. Whether you're shopping for a car to commute around NYC or an SUV to get you and your boards to the Pacific Ocean to hang ten, there are plenty of gently used cars options out there for car seekers across the nation.
Before you set out on your used car shopping journey, take a few minutes to outline what it is you're looking for in your next ride. Fundamentally, why are you looking for an upgrade? Maybe, your compact sedan isn't large enough for your growing family, or you're interested in an eco-friendlier vehicle for getting to work and back.
Jot these reasons down, as they'll help you choose a vehicle category (sedan, SUV, hatchback, etc.), and that's the starting line of your vehicle research!
2. Determine Your Car-Buying Budget
Now that you have an idea of the sort of model you're after, you want to think carefully about how much you can put financially toward a new-to-you ride. Luckily, there are many high-quality, affordable options on the market!
To set a realistic budget for your research, you'll want to identify the maximum amount you'd be willing to spend on a monthly car payment and go from there. A useful rule is to not spend any more than 20 percent of your paycheck after taxes for each payment. Once you've found this number, you can shop with the mindset to find a car that will help support your future finances.
Determine what 20% of your monthly income is
Determine the amount you can put down on the car
Consider the cost of taxes
3. Ask for a Vehicle History Report
It's time to start reviewing on-the-market models! When you do, one of the most important items to check for each used car candidate is a vehicle history report. Verified vehicle history reports, like those produced by CARFAX® or AutoCheck®, are incredibly useful documents that act as the key to the past for the vehicle they represent.
Vehicle history reports provide a long list of crucial information, such as the car's VIN, official odometer readings, number of previous owners, and whether it's been in any accidents. Having this information right up front and asking the right questions makes it easy to understand your prospects and choose the car that's best for you.
How many previous owners have there been?
What is the mileage on the car's odometer?
Has the car been in any accidents?
Is there any electrical damage?
What issues were found during your inspection of the car?
4. Start Used Car Shopping with Val-U-Line® Today
Used car shopping really can be simple, easy, and fun! Checking off each of these items will get you closer to the ride that you want and need, and Val-U-Line® is one place where you can find all three: a wide variety of high-quality vehicles all priced under $14,999, free CARFAX® Vehicle History Reports, as well as recent state and safety inspections in the books for each model.
We also offer provider perks, such as a No Questions Asked 3-day or 300-mile guarantee, to ensure this is really the ride that fits what you're seeking. Hop to our online showroom and find your future vehicle today!