10 August 2018 · Buyer Advice

What to Check When Buying a Used Car? | Phil Gilbert Toyota

There are three potential sources to purchase a used car: a direct private seller, which might be the lowest price but offers the greatest risks. Next is the independent used car dealer. They’re not officially connected to any manufacturer, and instead buy and sell used vehicles. The third is through a franchised new car dealer. These dealers typically have a variety of vehicles - but the largest percent of the inventory is representative of the brands they sell.

1. How Much Car Can You Afford?

When buying a used car and you're taking out a loan to pay for it, your monthly payment shouldn't be more than 20 percent of your take-home pay. If you're sticking to an affordable budget, you may want to spend even less. Don’t forget to factor in costs for car maintenance and insurance.

2. Create a List of Cars to Inspect and Test Drive

Some used cars retain a higher value based on both real and perceived differences. While you may believe that one brand is superior to another, you might find that by doing a little research you can select another brand which has used vehicles that carry a slightly lower retail value. There are plenty of great online resources not just to determine used car values but to review reliability and repair reports as well.

3. Check Prices

There are several online options to collecting the recent selling prices of the cars, trucks, or SUVs you’re considering for purchase. Of the three available sources, private party will usually have the lowest selling price, but carry the most risk. Independent dealers will be slightly higher, and new car dealers a little higher still – but for good reasons that we’ll review in a moment.

4. Inspect and Test-Drive the Vehicle

You’re really doing two things here. First is you’re determining whether the vehicle itself is right for you. Is it easy to enter and exit, how’s the driving position, is there enough room for what you carry, do you like the colour? The second is to inspect vehicle condition. Determine if it’s worth your money to take this car, truck, or SUV to an independent mechanic for a thorough inspection. A New Car Dealer will often provide a complete inspection report, including all work done to recondition the car for sale.

5. Negotiate a Good Deal

Negotiating doesn't have to be a drawn-out, traumatic experience. You have already determined your budget and if you are reasonable, chances are you can make a deal quickly and easily.

6. How to Make a Great Deal on the Best Used Vehicle with the Least Hassle

We here at Phil Gilbert Toyota have simplified the process so you get a used car that you can count on, handling financing and insurance in-house. We offer Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles that come with a full service history, vehicle condition and background check done by our experts. In addition, the Statutory Warranty helps protect you against mechanical failures and breakdowns. This warranty starts from the day of delivery of the vehicle and will cover most items on a car relating to safety, reliability and roadworthiness. This is on top of whatever warranty may be remaining on Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle.