Purchasing a used car is likely one of the most exciting and expensive purchases you’ll ever make. How often do you get to spend thousands of dollars on a single item? Taking the time to carefully and measuredly decide which car or truck is right for you can make the difference between the best or worst decision of a lifetime. We have consulted our experts and came up with the following guide to finding the used car that’s perfect for you.
According to Edmunds.com certified pre-owned car sales are at an all-time high. The most important thing to consider before stepping foot on the used car lot is your budget. In this market knowing your limitations before you shop is everything. By carefully looking at your finances you can pinpoint the monthly payment that is right for you. Experts at interest.com recommend using the 20/4/10 rule which says you should:
- Make a down payment of at least 20%.
- Finance a car for no more than four years.
- And not let your total monthly vehicle expense exceed 10% of your gross income.
Once you have pinpointed your budget, determine the size of vehicle needed and which features are important to you. Make a list of vehicles fitting that description before setting out to do some research. In the digital age that we live in, it is easy to research vehicles if you know where to look. For safety guidelines check out Safercar.gov. The best information on gas mileage can be found at Fueleconomy.gov. And J.D. Power ratings are always a valuable source of vehicle insights and research.
Armed with a budget and specific vehicle in mind you are now prepared buy a vehicle from a reputable dealership. Make sure to allow ample time for visiting multiple dealerships to find the right used car or truck. Always ask for a test drive before making a final decision. Never buy a vehicle that has an illuminated warning light, performs strange during the test drive, or hasn’t been properly inspected.
Perhaps the most stressful part of the vehicle purchase is the final negotiation. Shopping in winter or towards the end of the sales quarter may make it easier to negotiate a good deal. However, the most valuable tool in your arsenal is preparation. Negotiate with a number in mind and be prepared to walk away if the dealership isn’t willing to come to an agreement on a reasonable price. Once you have come to an agreement and finalized the deal on the car you love, protect it and your wallet with a protection plan from CARS Protection Plus.
There is no better feeling than getting out of town for a few days on the open road. Being prepared for life’s unexpected obstacles can help prevent a relaxing voyage from turning into a scary or stress filled encounter. CARS Protection Plus has put together this helpful guide to get your vehicle packed up and ready to go.
There are many parts on your vehicle that you can inspect and replace without the help of a trained professional. Check and replace worn wiper blades or dimming headlights. Being proactive in replacing these items can help avoid stopping for a quick fix in an unfamiliar place. Light bulbs and wiper blades are relatively easy to replace. Getting familiar with these do it yourself repairs can save money and untimely aggravation.
While you are at it take a look at the often unused components of your vehicle like your spare tire and vehicle jack. Don’t ever assume that your spare is fully inflated; tires can lose as much as 1psi of tire pressure monthly. Ensure that your vehicle has a jack and that it is in good working order. Remember to only change a tire if you can do so in a safe location, one which is level and free of traffic. Otherwise it is best to call for roadside assistance and let the professionals handle it. At CARS Protection Plus we offer several contracts with 24-Hour Roadside Assistance included.
If it has been a while since your last vehicle checkup make an appointment with your trusted mechanic. Now is a great time to get a fresh oil change and rotate your tires. Your service technician will be happy to change your air filter, check your vehicle‘s fluid levels and inspect the CV joints for excessive wear or damage.
When it’s time to pack up don’t forget to include emergency supplies in case of an unforeseen situation. A well prepared vehicle contains items such as road flares, a first aid kit, extra cell phone charger, a blanket, water and a rain poncho.
Protecting your family on long road trip can be easy. The truth is you can even protect yourself from the things you can’t control with a service contract with a reputable provider like CARS Protection Plus.
Purchasing a used vehicle can be a venture filled with uncertainty, but making good choices can alleviate stress and issues down the road. One choice that all used car buyers consider is where to shop. There are a lot of options available for the modern car buyer. Dealerships line the highways and the internet provides an endless stream of private owners selling their vehicles. Many wonder what their best course of action is when buying a used vehicle. The experts at Cars Protection Plus always advise their followers to consider the benefits of buying from a reputable dealer.
More often than not, choosing a reputable dealer will ensure that you are purchasing a reliable vehicle. Although consumer protection laws vary by state, all dealerships must follow Federal Trade Commission standards. Also with the abundance of used car dealerships, competition is fierce. Dealerships are looking to earn your repeat business! As a result dealers may “certify” used vehicles, offer warranties, and sometimes even offer a money back guarantee. When a vehicle is purchased from a private seller there is usually no such protection in place. It is possible to safeguard your private party purchase through vehicle history reports, paying for independent inspections or seeking out your own warranty from an authorized retailer. However, when you add up the time and expense, the choice to work with a reputable dealer becomes quite apparent.
At Cars Protection Plus, protection is in our name for a reason. We want to ensure that every driver on the road is protected from unexpected and costly auto repairs. One of the best things you can do to for your new used vehicle is to sign up for a service contract through an authorized dealer. Buyers should be proactive when selecting their service contract by carefully reading the contract and asking questions about anything uncertain. Realize that if any part or service isn’t mentioned in the contract, it’s very unlikely that it’s covered. Once you’ve selected a service contract that fits both your needs and your budget, you can leave the dealership with the peace of mind needed to feel comfortable about your purchase.