High school classrooms across the country share some frequent topics of conversation. Of all these common topics, the conversations about learner’s permits, driver’s licenses, and cars may be the most frequent. While parents may not be that anxious to have their just turned 16-year olds driving, many of these teenagers have long been counting down the days until they can take the wheel themselves.
While some families have young drivers who are ready to go the morning they wake up on their 16th birthday, many other families have not even taken the first step toward the driving process when the teenager turns 17. One aspect that holds many young drivers and their families up is access to a safe and reliable car. While some families are fortunate enough to have a hidden low milage gem in their grandparent’s garage, many more find themselves working with car dealerships to find something to drive.
What Do You Look for in a Reliable Used Car
- Adjust your attitude and your expectations. Going into the used car search with a specific goal in mind when it comes to make and model may work, but the buyers who find the best deals often keep an open mind. If the only used cars you are willing to look at are Jeeps, for example, your search may be more limited than you want. Keeping an open mind and focusing on other characteristics beyond the make and model of a car, may help you find the better deal.
- It’s all in who you know. While car dealerships may be a great resource for a large quantity of high values used cars, don’t forget the specific people in in the industry who can also spot a good value. A mechanic, for example, may be the first to find out about a vehicle that has been well maintained, but will soon be available to purchase. Likewise, a car body expert may come across a vehicle that needed small amounts of body work and may soon be sold by its owner.
- Private sellers. Let friends and family know that you are looking for a good used car. Just as some owners are reluctant to get rid of a car that they know is in excellent condition, those same sellers may become more willing if they know that they have access to a good buyer. Especially if you are able to pay cash for a used car, reluctant sellers may be more likely to jump at the opportunity to sell.
- Dealerships can offer good options. While you may not always find the prices that you want, many dealerships offer some of the most reliable cars. Full mechanic shops are able to provide thorough maintenance checks and service for the cars that they sell. In addition, dealerships can offer a great starting point for understanding the prices that you may have to pay for the car you are looking for.
- Always use a checklist. Even the most experienced car buyers can be swayed by an especially well kept car body and interior. To make sure that you look into every detail necessary, use a checklist to make sure that you ask all of the necessary questions.
- Always get a professional inspection. This is what can make buying a car from a friend a little tricky. While you want to be able to trust someone you know, it is always important to get a professional inspection. Some potential problems may not even be apparent to the seller.
How To Protect a Used Car Purchase
Just because you have purchased a used car rather than a new model is no reason to overlook maintenance. Keeping up with regular oil changes and other inspections can be more important, in fact, in used cars. While oil technology has changed during the last 30 years, many older models still do best with an oil change every 3,000 miles. Many cars have accurate sensors that indicate the need for necessary services.
As for the exterior, a wax coat should be applied at least twice a year to protect the painted finishes from contaminates and oxidation. Even extra protection packages on new cars are not a permanent solution. Outside appearances of a car will always matter.