I will be in the market for a used car soon, as of now I am saving up for about three years (when I actually need the car). I have looked at a few cars, and the Chevy eco Cruze and the Ford C-max stick out to me the most. If I were walking into the dealer/ private seller today, what are some things I would need to keep in mind? I already know the basic things like having a non-negotiable price in mind and taking an independent mechanic to inspect the car for problems, but what are other things you men have found useful when buying a used car? What are some other fees I have to keep in mind besides the sticker price and gas fill ups?
When you get your car, shop around for insurance, of course, and get your car registered by your local license office. Most likely there will be a personal property tax (state and/or local), a sales tax, and a registration fee. Periodic safety inspections are usually required before registration/renewal. I'm not sure how much variance there is from state to state, but I can tell you in my state of Missouri, there is a fee for safety inspection and registration, and when you first buy a car, the sales tax is charged at the time of registration rather than at the time of purchase (might be different in your state...check into that).
TCO, Total Cost of Ownership.
How much will your payments be, what are the expected costs of maintenance (all that stuff that is not covered under warranty such as oil, tires, filters, belts, etc.), what is the insurance on the car, what will the cost of fuel be, parking fees, etc.
Oh, and on top of the final price of the car, you have delivery fees, dealer fees, Title, Tax, and License fees that will be added. If you buy from a private individual you will need to pay for the title, taxes, and license (plate) yourself at a title company or similar. You also have to have the insurance on the car before you title or license it.