Cars have never been more expensive than they are today. More and more people are buying used vehicles, mainly to save money. However, savings aren’t the only benefit of buying used cars: you also get a lot more for your money.

Free photo vertical closeup shot of a person thinking of buying a new car or selling a vehicle

There are a few things that you need to know if you are planning on buying somebody’s used car, however. Educate yourself so that you don’t end up making a bad decision. This post’s intention is to delve into this topic in more detail, explaining what you need to do to make your cash stretch.

1. Approved Dealer

The tip that’s going to save you the most money and ensure you are covered in case your new car breaks down is this one: buy your vehicle from an approved, used car dealer. Approved dealerships are heavyweights in the trade of used cars, ensuring customers are given the highest level of care and protection in the form of warranties and money-back guarantees. The good thing about approved dealerships is that they are franchises of the manufacturer whose cars they are supplying, for example, an approved Ford dealership is a Ford franchise. If you encounter any problems with a dealership, you can report them to their mother company and action will be taken. Always read a dealership’s reviews before working with them, just for peace of mind.

2. Buying Privately

An alternative to buying a car from an approved dealership is to buy it privately, though private car purchases come with their own set of problems. The main problem people experience when buying cars privately is unreported damages. It’s not uncommon for sellers of cars to conveniently overlook scratches, dents, and even mechanical faults. When questioned about damages after they have sold their cars, many private car sellers put the blame entirely on the shoulders of the people to whom they sold their vehicles. Make sure you record every interaction if you are buying privately. Recording interactions will give you recourse against sellers for losses incurred.

3. Consider Features

In terms of tips that can save you money, the first is features. If you are on a very tight budget, you naturally don’t want to buy a car that has all of the latest gadgets and gizmos. Instead, you’ll want one that’s featureless. In other words, you’ll want an older vehicle. If you are planning on buying an older car, you need to make sure that it’s in good working order first, especially if you are buying it from a private seller, since once you leave their house, you could end up being unable to return it. Dealerships are more forgiving and will repair vehicles they have sold clients if they return within their warranty periods.

4. Finding Models

There are thousands of different models of cars. You need to find the one that’s right for you. Until you have conducted extensive online research, you are not going to be able to make your money stretch. A good way to ensure you save money is to search for economical vehicles, like hybrid ones, for example. If you have no experience searching for cars, consider signing up for a forum that is dedicated to them. A car forum is without a doubt the best place to turn when you are looking for a new vehicle.

5. Look for Warranty

You should try to buy a car from a used dealership, mainly so you have a warranty. Warranties are arrangements wherein buyers can bring cars back to dealerships they have bought them from for free returns if the returns were caused by mechanical faults and not the buyers’ negligence. Warranties are standard in the used car industry. Of course, private sellers are not able to offer warranties, which is why it’s only worth working with used car dealerships. Used car dealerships sometimes also offer money-back guarantees, ensuring buyers can get their money back if they’re unhappy with their purchases.

6. Trying Out Auctions

Finally, you may want to take a look at auctions. It’s only worth looking at auctions if you are confident in your ability to spot damaged cars. Visiting car auctions is a very bad idea if you have no experience spotting cars of this kind, since you won’t know what’s worth buying and what isn’t. Auction houses don’t perform their own investigations, determining whether or not cars are road-suitable. Typically, all they do is turn them on and see if their engines run. You’ll need to figure out if cars are safe to buy yourself if you plan on buying from auctions. You can get great deals at them, though.

Buying used cars can be tricky. This post’s advice should help you to stretch your money. Stretching your money should be your main priority. Try to only ever buy cars from used dealerships, since they are the safest places to buy from.