Picking out a used car can be difficult. There are so many cars out there – each with different designs, features, amenities, extras, cargo space, functionality – it can be hard to sift through the variety of options on the market to find the car that’s perfect for you.
Modern technology has made things easier, of course – advanced online marketplaces like Ride Time can allow you to browse cars online – but the decision making process can still be tough. After all, buying a used car is a big commitment. You don’t want to pick the wrong car and be stuck with it a couple years down the road.
So we’re here with 5 quick, step-by-step tips to help you pick out the perfect used car for your needs. Read on, and then shop with confidence, knowing that you’ll find exactly the vehicle you’re looking for.
Think About What You Really Need
This should always be your first step when shopping for a vehicle, and it’s important that you be honest with yourself. Here are some questions that can help you think about your vehicular needs:
- Do you need to carry a specific amount of passengers?
- What kind of driving do you normally do?
- Will you be driving in adverse weather conditions (ice, snow, etc)
- Is fuel economy a big factor?
- Do you need an all-wheel drive car?
- Do you need towing, hauling, or cargo space?
- Will you be using car seats or transporting children in your car?
- Do you need advanced safety features?
- Do you have enough parking space or garage space for your chosen vehicle?
Already, a mental image will probably form of the kind of car you need. Four doors. Car-seats. Hatchback and roof rack to help you transport a kayak. Good fuel economy – but it doesn’t have to be a hybrid. Something like that.
Sit down and really think these questions over – and be honest with yourself. Doing so will help you get a great general idea of what you’re looking for.
Set A Reasonable Budget
This is an important step – because it may involve altering your answers to the previous questions. Maybe you found the perfect used car, but it’s $5K over your budget. Guess what? That means it’s not the perfect used car.
You should set a reasonable, firm budget. A little bit of wiggle room – say, $1000, is acceptable, but part of buying a used car is being very practical about your needs, your ability to buy, and your budget.
Having a firm budget will help you eliminate cars that are not right for you.
Find Several Cars That Fit Your Needs
This is an important step. You may fall in love with one car right away, and be tempted to go drive it and and buy it right then and there. Don’t do that.
You should find several comparable cars that fit your needs. Even if you think you’ve fallen in love with one – a Mazda6 vs. a Toyota Camry, for example – you may be surprised when you actually go into the dealership to try out your selected vehicle.
Having more options is always better, and allows you more flexibility. In addition, a car you love might sell before you can buy it – if you have only picked one car for yourself, that means you’ll go back to square one.
Test Drive Your Selected Vehicles
Test drives are essential to choosing the perfect used car. Test drives allow you to get a real feel for how the car will operate, feel, and function after you’ve bought it.
A test drive allows the “intangibles” of the car, like how it performs, how comfortable it is, and its interior design to be fully experienced in a way that’s impossible to see online – or even by sitting in the showroom.
Take each car through the paces. Stop-and-go traffic, highway driving, parking in crowded lots, tight corners, brake tests, potholes and speed bumps – everything you would drive on in day-to-day life. Doing so can give you an idea of what cars are winners – and which ones you’ll leave in the showroom.
Make Your Decision – Or Go Back To The Drawing Board
After you test drive your selected cars, you’ll probably know which car you love. And if you’ve followed our steps, it’s in your budget, perfect for your needs, and totally awesome! Get your dealership to draw up the papers. It’s yours.
However, there are times when this won’t happen – you won’t have found the perfect car. That doesn’t mean you should just buy one of the cars you drove. Though it may seem like a lot of work, you should repeat the entire process laid out above if you don’t find the right car for you. Doing so will allow you to avoid picking a “compromise car” that you may not like in a few years, or that is wrong for your needs. And the fact that you have experience looking for your perfect car will make the process much easier. You’ll find what you need eventually – we’re certain of it.
Come To Ride Time Today – And See Our Used Cars
If you’re just starting the process of searching for a used car in Winnipeg – or anywhere in Canada – visit Ride Time today. We have a tremendous selection of high-quality preowned vehicles, and our advanced 360 degree camera systems allow you to get the best view of our cars possible without coming into our dealership.
Follow our above steps, visit Ride Time to find your ideal cars, and then come in for a test drive – we know you’ll love what you find. After that, our network of lenders will secure you a fantastic rate on the car of your choice – whether you have good, average, or even bad credit. With some basic personal information, we can guarantee you a fantastic rate on the car of your choice.
So find your perfect used car. Come to Ride Time today.