It's unlikely anyone will take advantage of you when buying a new car. Their main goal will be to make you buy from them instead of a competitor. If you decide to buy a used car it's a little different and you could end up wasting lots of money.

Buying the perfect used car is tricky if you're inexperienced, but it's still possible. It's also much cheaper than spending money on a brand new one. We're going to look at a couple of things you'll need to keep in mind before driving away.


1. Find Out How Much The Car Is Worth

New cars usually cost the same no matter where you go, but old cars are the complete opposite. They all have different histories and miles on the clock, so they'll never be the same. Owners will usually bump up the price due to sentimental value too.

You can afford a much better car than you think, but you must use online resources to work out the market value beforehand. This will tell you the maximum you should spend. If you want to save even more you'll have to start your negotiations from that initial price.


2. Research The Model You Want To Buy

If you don't know which model you want to buy you'll need to decide this first. In the beginning it will usually be related to aesthetics, which is why you need to carry out research. Maybe you'll change your mind about the model once you've done some digging.

Will your car last a long time before something goes wrong, or will it break down every few months? Is the car cheap enough to fix when it's broken? Some cars aren't great once they've clocked up lots of miles and it's your job to find out which ones.


3. Inspect The Owner Of The Car

Hopefully you've done your research to discover who actually owns the car. You'll want to find out if there are any outstanding loans too. Those are all related to the car itself, but you'll want to inspect the owner before buying anything.

Do they seem trustworthy to you? They might have had a few accidents they'll forget to tell you about. They could be selling for a reason that will eventually hurt you. It's pointless buying from someone you don't trust when there are other options available.


4. Let A Good Mechanic Inspect The Car

If you don't know any mechanics you can ask a garage to inspect it. The owner should allow you to do so if they have nothing to hide. In an ideal world you'll have your own mechanic with you. Even if you have to pay someone it's absolutely worth it.

We could spend hours talking about all the places you should check out, but a competent mechanic will know exactly what they're looking for. They could easily save you thousands of dollars in seconds, so don't try to do everything on your own.


5. Buy A Car Based On Your Specific Needs

When most people are choosing a car they'll do some research, but it's only to find out how reliable the car will be. You don't hear anyone choosing a car based on their specific needs. It's usually all about their wants, which won't work out well.

A perfect example would be buying a small car if you have a large family, but that is far too obvious. A less obvious example would be choosing one with a small boot even though you'll need to go shopping every week. Always aim for a car that suits your needs.


6. Test Drive The Car Before Driving Away

Have you ever tried to drive a car that doesn't feel right for some strange reason? Even though you might like a car on paper it doesn't mean you'll enjoy driving it. This is why you should always test drive the car even if you're with a mechanic.

You might not like the way it handles itself when you're driving around bends. The controls might not be positioned where you'd like them to be. If a car doesn't feel comfortable to drive you should walk away without giving it a second thought.


Don't Ignore These Or You'll Kick Yourself

If you ignore the tips we've talked about today you'll end up kicking yourself in the future. It won't necessarily be the day you buy the wrong car, but it's going to be sooner than you think.