The old saying of “failing to plan is planning to fail” is relevant when it comes to buying cars. It is a big decision for many people to make, so here are a few tips from Wade Griffin, director of Hyundai Select at Hyundai Automotive South Africa.Your car is often a reflection of your personality – whether small and understated or big and bold – and for the young at heart this is as important as an added fashion accessory. However, whether a short term or long term investment, it needn’t be one that is going to consume your available finances and thereby possibly hamper your continued quality of life, which is another key facet for everyone.TOP TIPSSo, for assured quality of life, consider buying a pre-owned car and scan the market to see what is available in your price bracket. Then, make use of these tips: 1) Know your budget, whether you have available cash or would be applying for finance, it is crucial to know just how much you can afford to spend and in that, consider how much you are willing to spend on purchasing a pre-owned car versus how much you think it will cost to add a few luxuries and/or trimmings to make the car your own. 2) Know what you want, when you know what your budget is, you will be in a better position to scan the market and see what is available – realistically – in your price bracket, be it a sedan, hatch back or SUV. Considering that the pre-owned vehicle market is far larger than most people think and there are a lot of available vehicles in good condition that will serve the same needs and offer the same greatly satisfactory driving experience, it’s impossible that you won’t find something to your liking.DO YOUR HOMEWORKSo, knowing what vehicle model you want at the onset of your search – and sticking to your guns - will streamline your research and give you far more confidence to work with salespeople, and drive away in your dream car. 3) Do your own homework, today, as a consumer, you have the ability to be far more hands-on and in control of researching what is available in the pre-owned vehicle market in your price bracket, and managing your search from start to finish will ensure that you get the best value for your money spent. To get your hands dirty and muscle your way around your purchase – from start to finish - as no one will fight for a better deal for you, better than you.If you have any tips for buying a used vehicle, tell us about them in the Readers' Comments section below.