Purchasing a car is one of the most expensive things you can get yourself into. While it’s not quite as expensive as purchasing a home, cars do come with huge price tags and that’s why many of us choose to buy used or pre-owned cars instead of new ones. However, is it really worth your time and what are the types of things you should consider?

Whether you want a Tesla Model X or something beefier such as the Ford F-Series, purchasing used means you can afford a better vehicle for less. However, it doesn’t come without its problems, and although there are plenty of things to talk about such as the internal parts and components that could wear our, we’ve built a list of four practical things to think about before purchasing a used car. This is a guide tuned towards people who are perhaps first-time buyers or people that don’t know much about cars in general.

Do you understand your legal rights?

The first thing to consider is your legal right. It’s not something that many people have in mind, but if you’re going to be paying several thousand dollars for a vehicle that could be faulty, then you’d better brush up on your rights. The lemon law helps to protect buyers that are constantly told that their products can’t be fixed. Firms such as Neale & Fhima, LLP specialise in the lemon law and have dealt with many cases of dealerships selling faulty cars that “can’t be repaired”. There are many variants of the excuse, but the most common one is that the dealership can’t fully fix the problems in the vehicle and, as such, nothing can be done about it despite the purchaser putting down a huge sum of money for the car. Before you dive in and purchase a used vehicle, make sure you understand who can protect you and what you need protecting from.

Do you really need a car right now?

Are you purchasing a vehicle before even passing your test? Don’t get complacent! Driving tests might not be the most difficult thing in the world, but it’s also a matter of confidence and practicality. If you barely pass your test but still can’t stomach driving in the real world, then you’ve just wasted a large sum of money. If you’re fine taking public transportation to and from work, then why do you need a vehicle? Are you concerned about the environment and want to lower your carbon footprint? Then a vehicle isn’t going to help unless it’s eco-friendly. There are many practical considerations to getting a vehicle so don’t overlook them! You might even find yourself leaning towards getting a bicycle or motorbike instead to save money and be friendlier to the environment.

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Could you find a better deal with a new car?

People think that buying a used car is the “better” option because you’re paying less money for a fantastic vehicle. Unfortunately, as a car is used the parts can wear out (much like any other device with moving parts) and could end up breaking down much earlier than you’d expect. This is why many cars are advertised with their current mileage on them, but it’s hard to tell when a vehicle will break down or when it will need maintenance and repairs. In some cases, buying a new car can also give you a better deal thanks to zero-percent finance deals and the guarantee of getting something fresh from the factory with all the latest parts and safety equipment. In short, make sure you compare buying a used car to a new one and consider the pros and cons of both before you shell out a considerable chunk of cash for a vehicle.

Does the car meet all of your requirements?

Lastly, don’t go jumping the gun with your purchases. Used cars might be cheaper, but does it meet all of your requirements and is it worth the savings? After all, used cars might contain fewer safety features or they might have fewer electronics that you want. They might also be in a colour that you don’t like or they might have worn interiors that will cost money to replace. If you want the perfect vehicle then it’s a good idea to look online or in new car dealerships to find the perfect model. Used cars come in their conditions and can’t be modified easily, so if you know what you want (from the colour down to the engine) then always buy new—it’s far easier to shop for!