Ford Australia (1)Buying a new car is hard enough, buying a used one in infinitely more difficult. It’s full of people willing to pretend an un-roadworthy car is good, patch up a damaged one just until you get it home, and try every last trick to get you away from your money. Not getting ripped off is not as easy as you’d hope. With the tips in this guide you can help step around the problem.

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Set your budget

Ford Australia (6)This is important to set and important to stick to. Figure out exactly what you want to spend, exactly what you’re willing to spend and spend not a dollar outside that range. Ideally of course spending far less is the goal, but you cannot budge on the maximum price for your car. Factor in insurance, running costs and the like before you set.

Check the Basics

Ford Australia (2)First step, check the mileage on the car, see how far it’s gone and how much and check it online to see how much that model should be able to take before it gives out. Check all of the obvious facts, both by talking to the seller, and by giving the car a once over. Make sure you know what kind of oil and petrol was in the car before you used it, what damage was done, and every possible question and problem. Make sure what you think you’re getting is what you’re getting

Background check

Ford Australia (4)You need to know all of the previous owners and every previous action of your car before you pick it up. Check the VIN number of the vehicle and run a background check. There may be a previous write off it could be stolen or have an outstanding loan on it. Make sure the car is completely legitimate before you try anything.

Mechanic

With any car this is important, with a used car this is doubly so. You need to get the details, as many of them as possible and only someone qualified can even begin to look into things like that. You might think you can do it yourself if you know a few things about cars. You don’t know enough. Have a third-party mechanic go for a look and make sure they’re thorough.

Shop around

Just because it feels like a good deal and looks like a good deal doesn’t mean it is a good deal. Find everything you can as best you can. Just because you come under budget doesn’t mean the deal is good enough. So call everyone, make sure every seller is aware of what you’re willing to pay and what you want. See the deal you can get.

With these hints you may just be able to make your way through the relative minefield of buying a used car. Just remember, get a second opinion, shop around, and never, never, never trust a used car salesman. For more information on buying new and used cars go to ford.com.au.

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