How to Make a Used Car Feel Like Your Own

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When you buy a car second-hand, either from a used car lot or directly from the previous owner, it’s yours. But sometimes it can feel like it isn’t. There can be a slightly alien feel to it, almost as if the ghost of the previous owner is still in there. Their personality still imbues the vehicle, and yours doesn’t.

Of course, this feeling is one of the things that new car salespeople try to warn you about. It’s one of their methods of getting you to buy a new and more expensive vehicle. But while this feeling may be there for you when you buy a used car, it doesn’t have to be there forever. You need to make that car truly feel like your own vehicle.

Clear it out

This is something that really should have been done by whoever sold it to you. But sometimes people don’t bother, or they do an inadequate job. Make sure you search the car thoroughly for any leftover trash and belongings. Give it a good vacuum; if there’s leather, give it a thorough wipe down. And are there any leftover smells that reveal the personality of its previous owner? Perhaps there’s still a faint whiff of tobacco smoke. Or you can still smell their dog. Make sure you bring the smells down to neutral.

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Get to know it

What’s the model of the car? What year was it made? Again, this is all information that should have been given to you by the seller. But even if it wasn’t, it’s easy enough to find out this information. There should be a lot of clues on the exterior of the car. Once you know all of this, you should open up the hood and get to know the inside. How does this specific car work? What are its flaws? What are its strengths? If there were common problems with your previous car, try to figure out how you would deal with those same problems if they happened to this car. Get rid of that “I don’t know how this darn thing works” mentality pronto!

Customise it

Sometimes, when you’re shopping for a used car, your hand is forced in a few areas. Let’s say you got this car for a really good price. It’s the perfect size. It handles beautifully. But you had to compromise on some aesthetic pleasures. Maybe you hate the colour. Or maybe you’re not a fan of the leather on the inside. Heck, maybe you don’t even like the license plate! Of course, these things can all be fixed. You can get a new spray job, or replace the seating, or looking into private plates.

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Install your own conveniences

There are a lot of simpler ways to make that car feel like your own. What things did you always keep in your previous car? Sunglasses? Gum? A thermos of coffee? Find a place to put all those things into your new vehicle. And make sure the sound system is able to play your own tunes. Don’t leave it only able to tune into the radio! Set it up so it can play music directly from your smartphone or iPod. Filling the car with your favourite music will help it feel more familiar.

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