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10 Tips For Buying Used Cars in Alberta

10 Tips For Buying Used Cars in Alberta

Shopping for used cars in Alberta? Don't miss this post. We're going over the top 10 tips for used car shopping from finding a dealership to sealing the deal.

Keyword(s): used cars in Alberta

You've probably heard about how new cars start to depreciate the moment they're driven off the lot -- but did you know that a new car actually loses 10% of its value in that time? It's true. Before you can even tune the radio to your favorite station, your car becomes worth less than what you just paid for it.

This is a major reason why savvy Canadian car buyers look at pre-owned vehicles rather than brand-new ones. Here are 10 useful tips to keep in mind when you are shopping for used cars in Alberta.

1. Decide on Your Budget

Naturally, one of the main considerations when you're buying a car, new or used, is cost. And although it's fun and exciting to start car shopping, financial experts advise that you decide on a budget first.

According to Edmunds, you should plan to spend no more than 20% of your take-home income on a car payment.

2. Consider Your Lifestyle

Chances are you already have some dream cars in mind, but since buying used cars in Alberta is such a big deal, it's important to think carefully about what type of vehicle is best for you.

Do you need a compact car that gets great mileage? A pickup truck or SUV for hauling sports gear, musical instruments, or lumber around town? Or just a reliable sedan to get you to and from work, your friends' houses, and the shopping mall?

Be careful not to fall in love with that zippy little red sports car if you routinely drive your son and seven of his teammates to hockey games.

3. Think About What You Really Need

Now, turn your attention to the bells and whistles. If you can live without amenities like a rear camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, voice commands, or dual-zone automatic climate control, then you'll be able to shave quite a bit of money off your investment.

Check out a list of amenities and ask yourself which ones you really need, and which aren't as necessary.

4. Narrow Down Your Options

By now you should have several makes and models in mind, so it's time go shopping! Where should you start?

Buying a car from classified ads or through Craigslist may be a good idea, but you would need to pay cash. Unless you're looking for a cheap junker, it's probably a better idea to look into dealerships that offer used cars in Alberta.

A dealer will also offer you in-house financing options, which can be helpful if your credit is less than stellar, or if you simply want to pay for your care on a monthly basis rather than buying it outright.

5. Consider Certified Used Cars

Another reason to buy used cars in Alberta from a dealership? You can shop certified used cars. These are vehicles that undergone inspection by a mechanic, giving you peace of mind.

6. Check the Vehicle's History

Certified used cars also come with a thorough history. You can find out if the car has been involved in accidents or a flood, has been stolen, or has any liens against it.

If you're doing it on your own, be sure to ask the seller about what sort of repairs and maintenance have been performed on the vehicle, what kind of conditions it was driven under, and how many owners it has had.

Of course, there's very little to stop an unscrupulous seller from lying outright, so take the answers with a grain of salt.

7. Take It for a Test Drive

A car can look great on paper, but in order to know for certain if it's the right choice for you, you'll need to test drive it.

A test drive will help you determine if the car is physically comfortable for you, as well as how it handles. Drive your normal route from home to work, or any other place you travel to frequently. You're trying to mimic the actual conditions of your daily commute.

Is it easy to get in and out of? Are the brakes, acceleration, and steering responsive? How does the car handle a bumpy road, while taking corners, and during highway driving?

One of the best tips for choosing used cars in Alberta is to test drive more than one car. You'd be surprised by the number of people who only drive one before making their decision. Again, this is a big expense, so don't rush things.

8. Know the Vehicle's Value

Your next stop is Kelley Blue Book, which is considered the foremost authority on pricing used cars in Alberta and elsewhere. Enter information about your chosen vehicles to find out how much they are actually worth.

This figure will help you know if you're getting a good deal or not, and it will be handy when it comes time to negotiate.

9. Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Certified used cars have been thoroughly inspected and vetted, so if you choose a certified used vehicle, you can skip this step. If you're buying from a private dealer, however, don't even think about buying unless you have your mechanic check out the car.

10. Think About Future Costs

Your mechanic can also help in this regard, by letting you know what types of repairs might be necessary in the future. The last thing you want is to buy your used car, and then find out that it needs new tires, a new transmission, new tie rod ends, or any other type of maintenance or repair.

On the other hand, you might be OK with the idea of spending some money to spruce up your car in the coming years, especially if you got a good price on the car to begin with. Just make sure to factor those repair costs into your overall budget.

Looking for Used Cars in Alberta?

Car Corner has an extensive inventory of certified used cars in Alberta. Not only that, but they also have financing options for those with bad credit, and offer guaranteed credit approval!

Apply today for an auto loan, or stop in to check out our fantastic selection of used cars and trucks.

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