Buying a Used Vehicle

Used Car

With used vehicles, you could end up with great value or a great big headache. The condition and value of used vehicles varies considerably. To avoid buying a lemon, take the time to look at many used cars before making your choice. That way, you'll gain a good sense of what they are worth. With the information you find here, you can avoid making a decision you'll regret later.

What you need to know

Used Vehicle Buying Tips

When purchasing a used vehicle, you could end up paying a bundle for someone else's troubles, or you could become the satisfied owner of a sound car with thousands of trouble-free kilometers left on it.

To help minimize your chances of buying a 'lemon' or paying an unfair price, CAA has created this guideline filled with helpful tips to consider when purchasing a used vehicle.

Setting your budget

Buying a car is usually the biggest or second biggest purchase in your life. For some, the cash outlay may not be a problem. But for most it means borrowing money from a bank, credit union or other financial institution.

It's a good idea to shop around for the best interest rate before making your purchase. Decide how much you want to pay for the car, set a maximum and hold yourself to it.

If this is your first car purchase, you should also take into account the running costs. Keep in mind you have to live with your vehicle for a number of years. Long after the novelty of owning it has worn off, you will still have the payments, along with the repairs, maintenance and insurance.

Purchasing the car also has some built-in expenses. As well as sales tax, registration and insurance, these expenses may also include:

  • Mechanical inspection fees
  • Cost of additional equipment and accessories
  • Extended warranties
  • Rustproofing
  • Paint and upholstery protection
  • Dealer documentation fees