Buying a great used car doesn’t just come down to luck. If you think you can choose anything that appeals to you it will end in tears 99 percent of the time. Even though you’re not buying a brand new car it’s still a big purchase, so you should learn to do things properly.

Most people won’t know a mechanic they can take along to inspect potential cars, so the next best thing is following a checklist. It will highlight any dangers before you hand over any money. We’re going to talk about a few things you should definitely have on it.

6 Things You Must Add To Your Checklist When Buying A Used Car

1 – Check The History Of The Car

Before you even contemplate buying a used car you should check out its history. This will flag up a multitude of problems you won’t be able to spot by looking at it. Even if it’s been in a major accident you might not notice.

You’ll also know if the person selling you the car is the actual owner, because they could easily have stolen it. You will find out of it has any outstanding debt, which will prevent you from having to pay two loans at the same time.

2 – Research The Exact Car Model

When you’re inspecting a car it’s easy to find problems if they’re completely obvious. Most of the time they’ll be hidden away. Luckily the same car models tend to suffer from the same issues over the years.

If you research a car model carefully you’ll know exactly where to look when you’re checking it. This will help you save money further down the line too, because you’ll likely stay away from cars that always break down.

3 – Know What The Price Should Be

They say new cars lose a lot of value the moment you drive away from the showroom. Used cars also drop in value every year. You need to keep on top of this and it will give you a good ballpark figure you can expect to pay.

It’s as simple as going on used car websites and finding out how much similar cars are priced. You’ll still be able to negotiate with the seller, but you won’t make the mistake of handing over more money than it’s worth.

4 – Take The Car For A Test Drive

If you’re not allowed to test drive a car you should walk away immediately. There are too many things you’ll need to check when it’s moving. The only thing you will know if you just sit down is if the seat is comfortable.

You will need to know if it handles correctly when you’re on the open road. Certain sounds and smells will only be there when the engine is warmed up. You should know whether or not it’s a car you’d want to drive every day.

5 – Think About Extras Like Insurance

Once you decide you want a new car it’s simple to keep your ongoing costs down. You will get to decide things like the engine size and what kind of fuel it uses. There are hidden costs you want to think about too.

Car insurance is the biggest one if you want to guarantee you’ll be covered at all times. There could be a big difference in price between cars, so look for quotes beforehand and you won’t end up with an unpleasant surprise.

6 – The Timing Has Got To Be Right

Don’t try to buy a used car when it’s not dry and bright outside. If it’s wet or dark you will never be able to inspect the car correctly. When it’s raining outside you could overlook scratches that will need to be fixed.

When the sun goes down you’ll miss those dents you would spot during the day. A flashlight isn’t the same as sunlight and you’ll still miss things. Plan your visit carefully and change the date if you need to.

You Don’t Want To Throw Money Away

Unless you’re a professional you won’t buy used cars every day. It means if you mess up you could be stuck with a subpar car for a long time. It will suck money out of your wallet non-stop. Add these tricks to your checklist and there is less chance things will go wrong.