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April 22nd was Earth Day, and more than 193 countries revved up their environmental efforts through holiday initiatives and events. Taking into consideration the negative environmental impact of manufacturing a new car, as well as that of scrapping your old car, one of the best ways to protect the environment is by buying a used vehicle.

While there are plenty of "green" options in the market, the benefits of maintaining your car, or buying used, far outweigh those of switching to electric or hybrid alternatives. To help, our automobile moguls here at Caliber Collision have compiled a list of advice to help you come in first when buying a secondhand car.

Know your Budget
Before you begin your car search, start by searching your finances to figure out what you are willing—and able—to spend on your new, used car. Consider your savings, loan options and monthly income before stepping foot into a used car lot. When you have a hard and fast number in your head, it will be easy to narrow down your search and say no to vehicles out of your price range.

Check the Facts
Even if the dealer provides a car’s history, there’s no harm in doing a bit of research of your own. Ask questions, run a vehicle history report, have the car inspected and do a thorough check of the interior and exterior. Though an inspection may cost about $50, it is well worth the peace of mind knowing your vehicle is in good shape. If the inspection does show a fault in the car, you can make a more-informed decision, request it be repaired, or negotiate the price down to do the repairs on your own.

Take it for a Spin
One of the best ways to check out a used car for yourself is to simply get in and drive it. Take it on a variety of terrains, test all functions and keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t work quite right. In addition to testing its condition, you can also experience how the car drives and if you can see yourself in the vehicle. Do you like being up high, or close to the road? Does the car have any blind spots? Does it have the features you like? These are all questions you can consider from behind the wheel.

With used cars, there is typically a bit more room for negotiation since dealers and former owners are usually trying to get rid of the car quickly. Keep in mind your budget, any repairs needed and how long the car has been in the lot. Surprisingly, a lot of negotiating can be done with body language, timing, shopping process and other nonverbal cues. When the actual negotiation starts, the seller should already have a gauge of your next step in the sales process.

Purchasing a new car can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. With these tips, buying a used car should be seamless and—knowing you’re making a positive environmental impact—rewarding. New car or used, if something does go wrong on the road, you know you are in good hands as our Caliber Collision team lives out our purpose—Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life.®