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So You Want a Junker: What to Watch for With Used Cars

Are you looking to save money by buying your next vehicle in an “as is” car sale? If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, it can work. Learn more here.

There are more than 8 million people who buy used cars in the UK every year. And while some of those used cars come from dealerships that offer warranties on them, many are sold in “as is” condition.

During an as is car sale, a buyer agrees to take ownership of a vehicle despite any potential problems that might exist with it.

In some cases, the seller will disclose the issues with the car, while in others, the buyer will be responsible for finding and fixing the issues before putting the car back out on the road.

Buying a used car as-is can be risky. But you can save a lot of money on the cost of a car by going with an as-is vehicle as opposed to one with a warranty through a dealership.

Here is what to watch for during an as is car sale.

How Many Miles Are On the As Is Vehicle?

The first thing you should do when you’re thinking about going through with an as is car sale is check a vehicle to see how many miles it has on it. The total number of miles can tell you a lot about a car.

There are some cars today that are designed to last for up to 250,000 miles. But those cars are few and far between.

Most vehicles will start to encounter major issues once they hit the 100,000-mile mark. So if an as-is vehicle is already well over that mark, you might want to think twice before you buy it.

It could end up being a whole lot more trouble than it’s actually worth.

Is the Vehicle Likely to Encounter Specific Problems?

In addition to checking the mileage of a used car before buying it as-is, you should also do your homework and research the vehicle to see if there’s an increased chance of it suffering from specific problems.

There are certain makes and models of cars that are more prone to certain problems than others. For example, you might find that one make and model is more likely to have suspension problems than other cars.

When you do your research, you’ll be able to see what you should look out for when you’re giving an as-is car a once-over. You can see if it’s starting to show signs of some of the problems that plague certain makes and models of cars.

Has the Vehicle Ever Been Involved in Accidents?

If a person is selling a used car as-is, they might not be all that forthcoming when you ask them if a vehicle has ever been in an accident. They also might not know about the full history of the car if they bought the vehicle used when they obtained it.

But you shouldn’t let those things stop you from finding out about the history of a vehicle.

You can get your hands on a vehicle history report for about $25 and see what it has to say about a vehicle.

You don’t necessarily have to steer completely clear of purchasing an as-is car that’s been involved in an accident before. But you should use a car’s history as part of your strategy when negotiating a fair price for an as-is car.

How Does the Vehicle Drive?

You shouldn’t ever buy a vehicle–new, used, or as-is–without getting behind the wheel and taking it for a test drive.

By test driving a vehicle, you’ll be able to listen to how it sounds when you start it up. You’ll also be able to look and listen out for any problems with a car while it drives.

After a test drive, you can also pop the hood and take a look under it before climbing under the car to see what’s going on underneath of it. You want to learn everything you can about an as-is vehicle before pulling the trigger and purchasing it.

How Much Will Repairs to the Vehicle Cost?

If you notice that there are things wrong with an as-is vehicle after taking it for a test drive and inspecting it, you should start to crunch the numbers in your head to see how much they’ll cost to fix.

Ideally, those who choose to purchase as-is vehicles should be handy when it comes to working on cars. This can help them make repairs to a vehicle without costing themselves a fortune.

Write down all the repairs that you know you’ll have to make to an as-is vehicle before buying it so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Leave yourself some wiggle room, too, since there are likely going to be problems you can’t see sitting under the surface. 

Is the Price for the Vehicle Right?

At this point, you’ll know whether or not you’re interested in buying an as-is car. The only thing left to do will be to talk price with the owner of the vehicle.

As long as you’ve followed the other steps listed here, you should be armed with all the information you’ll need to negotiate the price of the car as low as you can get it.

You can talk to the vehicle’s owner about everything from your concerns about the vehicle history report to the repairs you know need to be done.

Hopefully, you can come to an agreement on a fair price for the vehicle and then pay for it using either cash or one of the online loans available to you. It’ll allow you to obtain a car for just a fraction of what you would probably pay for it elsewhere. 

Consider Everything Before Finalizing an As Is Car Sale

The key to working your way through an as is car sale successfully is researching as much as you can.

That means researching a car before you go to see it. It also means researching it in person and combing through the car for any obvious problems.

Once you’ve done those two things, you can confidently negotiate the price of a used car down and get yourself a great deal. Read our blog for more tips on choosing the right used car.

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