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Buying a used car is a smart financial decision to make since new cars can lose more than 15 percent of their value once they are driven off the car lot. Since you've already come this far as a smart consumer, here are five important things you should do before you sign the papers and commit to buying a used car.

1. Discuss with your insurance agent

Your insurance agent can give you advice in deciding which type of car would be the most reasonable as far as your insurance policy is concerned. Safety features, popularity with thieves and other factors affect insurance rates.

2. Check the Carfax Report

 Carfax has free and paid reports that will show you the history of the car you’re looking at with its previous owner. This will help protect you from buying a lemon or a vehicle that may not last very long due to faulty repair.

3. Compare safety options between vehicles

Prominent safety features like front and rear airbags, anti-lock brakes and automatic seat belts help keep you and your family safer as well as reduce your insurance premiums. Make sure you research what options are available in used cars of different models and different years so that you can find the best safety options for the year range you can afford.

4. Investigate car values

Check the value of the car you looking at on Kelley Blue Book before you spend money or get a loan for a used vehicle. Don’t ever take someone’s word for it; do your own research and, if necessary, get ready to haggle.

5. Have your mechanic check out the car

Your mechanic can detect and mechanical problems that may end up costing you more than what the car’s worth in the future. The once over may cost you, but it could be well worth it to avoid potential repair fees beyond the basics that any used car buyer should expect.

Used cars may be a fiscally responsible choice, but you still have to put the time in and do your research so you can drive off the lot with full confidence, an insurance policy you can afford, and an intact wallet. 

Posted 5:44 PM  View Comments

Tags: auto, used car
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