How to buy a used car (Complete Guide)


If you have trouble how to buy a used car? This guide will discuss in full for you.

Buying a used car is a perfect alternative if you want to have a first car or look for a car at a low price.

Everyone must have a dream to have a dream vehicle, especially a car. Whether it's a family types car or a sports car, with a BMW, Toyota or Ferrari brand.


In fact, there are also many people whom cannot afford to buy their dream car because of a number of things, ranging from high prices to low financial budgets.

And a practical solution for this, if you want to own a car, is to buy a used car.


Buying a used car is the right way to cut costs if you want a car quickly and permanently.

Buy a used car like go for treasure hunting. There are many choices there that can confuse you to find a used car that suits your needs and with an attractive agreement according to your financial budget.

The benefits of buying a used car.

1. Price

If you buy a new car, you have to prepare more money than the original price of a new car itself. Whereas if you buy a car that has been used for several years from its debut period, of course, you get more money savings.

2. Avoid price depreciation.

You know, if every new vehicle comes out every year, the vehicle will drop in price last year.

This may apply to everything.

Imagine if you buy a new car this year and decide to sell it for the next 5 years, you will get a lot of lowering costs that occur when selling it.

Then, what about buying a used car?

The price of used cars, of course, will also go down every year. But it won't hurt you too much, because at first, you bought at a low price compared to buying a new car.

3. Don't need too much insurance.

In some countries, when buying a new car in the credit system, the dealer will register you for various insurance, ranging from accident insurance, loss, and others. Of course, these means to secure your vehicle in the future for certain risks. 

But what if the premium to be paid is big?

If you buy a used car you can choose certain types of insurance, this will save your budget.

4. It is still a new car.

Even if you buy a used car that has been used, still when you buy it and bring it to your home, the car becomes the new car that you have and that you will use.

Where to buy a used car?

To buy a used car, you can find it here:

1. Buy to an authorized Dealer / or Private dealer.


  • The cars they sell has been examined as well as possible from the engine, body, and others.
  • The services you will get from insurance to mechanical services and damage services.
  • More payment options.


  • Dealers offer slightly expensive prices (It could be due to free services in the future)
  • Prices have been determined and it is difficult to negotiate lower prices.
  • The price of payment offered is slightly different between purchasing credits and cash.

2. Buy with direct vehicle owners.


  • When they sell cars and advertise on sites, the price offered is quite tempting with excellent car conditions.
  • You can negotiate prices with a mutual agreement.


  • Owners don't always keep promises, they may sell tomorrow to someone else when they promised today to sell to you.
  • Protection and guarantee that there is no vehicle.
  • If you do not have personal mechanical or mechanical expertise, you can only know whether the car is good or not from the story of the vehicle owner.
  • The vehicle owner also sells memories with his car.

3. Check car sales online.

There are many cars sales sites. You can find them and buy used cars online via the internet.
Below are some used car sales sites:

3. KBB


  • You might find the appropriate price and type of car.
  • No need to go out of the house to find a car seller.
  • Vehicle reviews are very complete.


  • The seller of the car can be anyone, whether it's a dealer or a private person.
  • Images sometimes do not match the original shape.

Apart from these 3 things, there are still some things you should pay attention to when buying a used car.

Because the seller could have done a dirty trick when selling a car to get a big profit and don't let the used car you choose to be a mistake in the future.

And here is a complete guide on how to buy a used car that you can use when starting, checking and deciding to buy a used car.


When starting a plan to buy a used car.

1. Prepare funds for purchasing used cars.

If you want to buy a vehicle like a car, even though the car is used, of course, the thing you have to prepare for the first time is your finances. There are 2 ways for you to make a car purchase. Do pay with cash or credit. 

If you paid with cash, make sure you don't spend your savings budget. Remember that you need to prepare more money for insurance, maintenance, and taxes on owning a car.

If you buy a car with a car loan or loan, make sure you choose a loan with interest rates that are not too high and make sure you don't have another loan that can refuse your application for a car loan. The lender will usually see your credit history before deciding to accept or reject.

If you have prepared funds well and have decided how to pay, then next:

2. Make a list of used car brands that you want.

Even if you buy a used car does not mean you cannot buy a car with a well-known brand, or buy a car with a good brands name, such as BMW, Mazda, Honda or Toyota that already have a good name for used cars.

It is important for you to make at least a few brands lists as a consideration if you want to buy a vehicle according to your needs or budget.

Choose a car as needed.

What do you want from a car?

Wide luggage? Great engine power? Or, a fuel-efficient car?

It is important to take the time to think about what you need from the car you wanted to buy. Narrow down all your needs and compare the features on the vehicle to get the right car.

For example, if you want to buy a family car, of course, you want a car that has a large space and cargo space that can store a lot of goods.

If you want a fuel-efficient car, of course, you will look for a car with a small engine that is fuel efficient.

3. Check the price of the car.

After you make a list of brands and needs, then check the prices of used cars. The easiest thing you can do to find out the price of a car as a consideration by searching online. But all the prices of used cars are not the same, this can be influenced by the year of manufacture, models, features, mileage, taxes, damage, and so on.

Year of manufacture and model: The longer the year the car is made, the lower the price will be given to you. But you must know that there are cars with the same brand, and the same year of manufacture has different prices, this is because they have different models, whether it's the striker, the fuel used, and so on.

Features: The better features installed on the car, of course, the price will be different. Car features can be in the form of security systems, navigation systems, and others.

Mileage: Usually the mileage of a car per year is 12,000 miles. If you get a car with more or less distance, the price of the car will be adjusted.

Taxes: In many countries, many car owners avoid paying annual taxes imposed by the government. And used cars like this tend to have lower prices. But the tax on duty will move to new car buyers.

Damage: Cars that have had accidents, body and engine damage, dents, chipped car colors, will have a cheaper price.


Each used cars market price may be different, between a dealer and a private seller. If you want to buy a used car from a dealer, you can see the retail dealers price. But if you bought with a private seller, you can see the price of "private parties".

4. Look for used cars near you.

If you have checked the price, and decide to buy a car. Search for used cars around you first. It could be that your friend wants to sell his vehicle and offer the best price for you. And by buying cars around the area your lives in, you are more guaranteed to make transactions.

Checking used cars.

When buying a used car it is important to check whether the vehicle is good or not. Do not until you're only like the price offered, it is important if you buy not at the dealer. If you have The trusted cars repair shop, please take it and let it be checked every part of the car. If you don't have a car repair shop, invite your friends who understand mechanics. Or you can check yourself using the method below to check for yourself:

1. Car inspection:

a. Check vehicle history.

This is the first step when you want to buy a used car. It is important to know the history of the car that you will buy in the past. Has the car ever been in an accident that is at risk or has experienced other obstacles, how far has it ever run? If the car offered has a bad history, of course, you have to reject it. 

In some countries looking for information about the history of car vehicles can use VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or you can search on Carfax or Autocheck, this is the fastest way to find out the history of the car.

2. Check the car parts.

a. Check body and car paint:

A dented, rusty or scratched body indicates that the car is not maintained or may have experienced collisions or other accidents. And usually to cover-ups damage, many do it by repainting it, so it doesn't look right.
Although not all sellers do this, if you find a used car like this, it's good to be careful.

b. Check the wheels and velg:

Look for used cars with tires that are still good, do not experience uneven wear conditions. If you see this there is a possibility that the car's wheels or suspension are not parallel. And also note that the car is still in good condition or damaged.

Of course, you don't want to spend more money on repairs, right?

c. Check the interior of the car.

When you finish checking the outside of the car, then check the inside of the car. It could be that the car that wants to buy is good outside but bad inside. You have to check the odometer section, see how far the vehicle has moved, and also check the gas, brake, clutch whether when pressed on the floor of the car, if yes you have to replace the cylinder. Then check the transmission of how well it works, also check the seat and car seat belt.

d. Check the bottom of the tent.

If you check the bottom, check for spark plugs, radiators, batteries and other things that might be damaged or corrosion. And if you find any missing nuts or bolts, this indicates an indication of poor repair work on the car.

3. Test the car with a test drive.

a. Check the control sections

Before testing the vehicle you have to make sure these works properly such as steering wheel, wiper, radio, lights, turn signal, side glass, and AC. If there are obstacles at least not too severe.

b. Check transmission.

Cars with manual transmissions should shift smoothly from 1 - R. If you find it difficult to move gears and listen to loud sounds, there are obstacles to the car. And if a car with an automatic transmission should not hesitate or sound loud.

c. Check the brakes.

This is the most important safety factor in driving. A functioning car's brake certainly has sensitivity. So you have to try well when testing. Try sliding at a speed of 50 mph on a quiet road and braking hard, if the car goes left and right it means the brake caliper is loose, and if you feel vibration means the brakes are curved.

d. The road on the ground waves

Don't just carry it on a smooth road, but drive it on a bumpy road to feel the shocks that occur. If the car is still in good condition, the shock does not feel strong.

e. Listen

When you drive listen carefully. There could be sounds of rattling sounds. That could indicate damage in the car.

Negotiating used car prices.

If you have checked it well, and have done a test drive, and want to have the car. It's time for negotiations.

Negotiations don't have to impose will, but you can do it well.

Negotiate prices and buy used cars from dealers.

  1. Don't tell them about your budget.
  2. If you bought in cash, do not tell them that you will pay the car in cash. There is no need to lie, but try to save all of that information to yourself, you can say you will decide on the payment option if you have found the appropriate car. If they know that you will buy in cash, they will try to make money in other ways, such as insurance and other fees.
  3. If you get an approved cars loan or monthly payment. Don't negotiate the size of the monthly payment, but negotiate the price of the car as a whole. This is to avoid the trap of buyers made by salesmen, who convince buyers to pay monthly so that they can make prices higher.
  4. Even if you want a car, don't get caught in a dealer. Try to go to another dealer if their price or offer doesn't suit you.
  5. Check costs before making an agreement, because many dealers add fake costs, such as sticker prices, insurance costs, to benefit from other failed negotiations. If there are additional costs, ask the dealer to make a detailed fee before agreeing to the transaction.

Buy a used car at a dealer or private party.

If you bought to the dealer in cash, of course, you will get the proof documents of the car you purchased. If you buy in installment with a private party, the seller may give you a little vehicles document, and the other part will guarantee when you paid off.

In essence, there is still a need to review the contents of the sales contract, take your time for a moment before signing the document because the dealer will still explain the additional costs in the contract. Contracts usually involve:

  • Country sales tax: This tax is a percentage of car sales to buyers
  • Registration fee: The dealer will register your car for protection.
  • Document fees: In some countries, every vehicle purchase will have a document fee charged to the car buyer. Even these costs range from $400 - $700.

Important tips:

If you get a dealer charging a document fee that is not needed, you can ask it to delete. Or you can say that you won't pay it.

Negotiate prices and buy used cars with private sellers.

1. Open the first offer at a price lower than the seller's request.
Personal sellers have different calculations with dealers when selling cars. So you can offer a slightly lower price according to your money. If the car seller offers a price of $15,000 you can offer a price of $12,000.

2. Bid prices according to the market price of used cars and the current state of the car when you check and test drive.
If a private seller sells for $15,000 and you know that the market price of a used car is $13,500. You can do the trick by showing concern about the condition of the car after you check and test it. And mention what you have to change after buying the car. So you are only willing to buy for $12,000 according to the condition of the car.

3. Don't deal with prices exceeding the financial budget and the condition of the car that is not appropriate. You can search for used cars elsewhere.
Now it's all up to the car owner whether or not you want to close the agreement to you. If you still get a high enough price quote, you can go and find another one. Your only buy after your budget and the condition of the car.

4. Get the document.
Make sure your vehicle documents get complete at the time of the transaction before money changes hands. You have to know what letters to have when buying a car.

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