Improving Your Car's Function

3 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Car Purchase

Unless you live in a part of the U.S. that maintains a spectacular mass-transit system, you probably find it hard to imagine getting around without a car. But don't let the urgency of that need cloud your judgment or push you into a less-than-terrific deal. Here are three strategies you can employ to get the most out of your next car purchase.

1. Buy Lightly Used

Are you married to the idea of buying a brand-new car? Recent-model used cars with relatively low numbers on their odometers can offer tremendous value by comparison. That's because the average new car depreciates in value by 11 percent from the moment that it's driven off of the lot. Within a year, the value has dropped by 25 percent; within three years, the car is worth just 54 percent of its original value. This means that you can realize substantial savings just by settling on a car that has had a previous owner. You can still get a vehicle that boasts low mileage and excellent mechanical condition. Your car may even still have some of its original warranty coverage, with additional coverage available from the dealer.

2. Know Your Vehicle History

If you're planning on buying a used vehicle, it's absolutely essential that you know as much as you can about how that car has been driven and what kind of mechanical issues it may have encountered. The easiest way to gain such knowledge quickly is by subscribing to an online platform that gives you access to such details for a fee. Simply enter the VIN number of the vehicle into the database, and you'll see the vehicle's previous repair, maintenance and recall history. Keep in mind, however, this information won't include any details that were not previously detected or reported. For that level of knowledge, you'll want to hire a mobile auto inspection technician. This kind of professional can examine the vehicle from stem to stern. You'll then know whether there are any problems that might cause you to ask for necessary car services such as repairs, negotiate a reduced price on the car "as is," or just scratch that particular vehicle off of your list.

3. Bring Your Own Loan

If you've bought a car in the past, you may remember sitting in the waiting area of the car dealership while the salesperson runs your financial information and offers you a loan. In actuality, however, the car dealership isn't the one originating that loan; it simply brokers a loan obtained from a bank or other financial provider. The addition of a middle man to the equation may mean a higher interest rate. Take the extra measure of walking into the dealership armed with the most favorable pre-approval offer you can get from your own financial institution. You may still prefer the rates and terms offered by the dealership, but at least you'll have options.

Follow these three tips, and you'll be in a much stronger position for getting the maximum value out of your car purchase. Enjoy your new (or lightly used) set of wheels.

For more information, contact a car dealership like Grey Chevrolet Inc.