What You Need To Know Before Buying a Used Car (Part 1)

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2015 Porsche Cayman GT4Are you interested in buying a used car, but unsure how to make sure you’re getting a car that is worthy of ownership?  Just like millions of Americans every year, you are about to embark on a fun journey filled with excitement, disappointment, and everything in between!  You’ll find the perfect car but it will be too expensive, then you’ll find the perfect car but it will be missing three essential parts, then you’ll find the perfect car but you’ll find out it’s been totaled in an accident, then you’ll find the perfect car and you’ll admire it in your driveway for years to come.  So, how do you make sure you pass on the first three and take home the fourth?

The answer: Research followed by the Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI).

At Alex’s Autohaus, we will help to guide you on how to pick the right car to bring in for a PPI that will increase your probability of finding that car worthy of your ownership.

It all starts with research.  Ask yourself, “What do you plan to use your car for?” Determining if you want a daily driver, collectible, occasional track use, or full-on race car will not only help you narrow the field of cars you’re looking at, but will be more likely to end in a more satisfying ownership. Each use has its compromises and knowing what you want first will save a lot of headaches.

Then, start to narrow your search.  What’s your budget?  What years are you looking at?  And, what options or add-ons do you want?  More importantly, what options do you need?  Lastly, drive it before you start a diligent search for the “one.”  I always wanted a 914 as a kid, and then I drove one and found out I just don’t fit in the car!

Now that you’ve got your list, time to locate your new ride. Depending on the vehicle chosen, this could be easy and is just a matter of narrowing the field. Other, more specialty cars, can be tricky.  If you want a Toyota Camry that’s about five years old, your search could be over in 5 minutes.  If you want a 75′ Porsche 914 (and you’re under 6’3), plan on spending a lot of hours finding the perfect car. To make your search easier, there are several online classifieds, eBay, enthusiast forums, locating services, and even auctions.  Buying a used car takes time, but your patience will be rewarded.

Stay tuned for Part 2!