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How to Pay for a Used Car Without Breaking the Bank

Sometimes it seems like cars break down at the worst times. You might not be in a great place financially when your car becomes inoperable, and buying a new car is not always possibly. When you need a car, and you have limited funds, a good used car might be the best thing for you. There is a wide-variety of used cars on the market. With a little bit of research, you might find a used car will work well with your current lifestyle.

 

Know Your Budget Before You Begin

 

Before you start your travels to dealerships, you need to consider how much money you can afford to spend on a used car. You could save a lot of money, if you pay for the car in full. If this is not possible, consider making a large down payment. Obviously, when you finance your car, the cost is more because you are paying interest each month when you make your payment. Traditionally, when you purchase a used car, rates are higher and the financing periods are usually shorter compared to purchasing new cars. One tip most financial experts offer is to never spend more than 20 percent of your take-home pay on a car.

 

Estimate Future Expenses

 

Always do research on the car you want to purchase to see if certain parts need to be replaced more frequently. You might have a particular car in mind that you’d like to buy, but if the water pump in that model has a history of failing, than you might want to consider another car. When you purchase a used car, there’s always a chance you will have to forgo funds for maintenance and upkeep. An older car obviously has more wear and tear on it than a new car. Having savings put aside is important, since you don’t want your car to cause you unnecessary debt.

3 Factors to Consider When Looking for a Used Car Dealership

People often dread looking for used cars, which is understandable since not every car dealer has an outstanding reputation. However, there are several factors you can use to narrow down which dealership you ultimately choose to work with.  Keep these in mind the next time you are in the market for a used car.

 

Vehicle Selection and Availability

 

One of the first things you should consider when you are choosing a car dealership is whether or not the dealer offers the type of vehicles you are interested in. Not all dealerships are the same. The selection can vary depending on the location of the car dealership. Although car dealers can place an order for the type of car you are looking for, it may take a while before you actually get that vehicle.

 

Customer Service

 

Another key factor when it comes to selecting a car dealership to work with is customer service. You want to be sure you choose a used car dealership that places high emphasis on customer satisfaction not just making their monthly sales quota. One simple way to evaluate a potential dealership’s customer service is by looking at previous customer reviews.

 

Price Range

 

Finally, the price range of cars at a used car dealership can be another determining factor in whether or not you choose to work with that dealer. It is important to note that you shouldn’t choose a dealership simply because it has the cheapest prices. A cheaper price may cost you in another area such as good customer service. If you have the opportunity, try to compare the average costs of the car you are interested in from several different dealerships.

 

As you can see, these are just a few factors that you ought to think about when you are looking for used cars. Just remember to compare several different car dealership options before you decide to work with one.

Steps to Prepare Yourself for Buying Used Cars

Buying used cars is a big step in your life and there usually is no point in rushing it. When making such a major purchase, it is a good idea to approach the decision with care. Here are some things that you can do to ensure that you’re ready to buy a car when the time comes.

 

Know Your Credit Score

 

Your credit score and history will have a big impact on the type of dealership financing you qualify for, and ultimately the type of car that you get. Keep in mind that it can sometimes take several weeks or months to get errors on your credit report straightened out so do this as soon as you can.

 

Get Preapproved

 

Dealerships usually have pretty good financing deals, and you might not have to have outstanding credit to qualify. It is usually a good idea to get preapproved for a loan before shopping for a car so you know what your limitations are in terms of pricing. This will also give you a good starting off point for negotiations down the line.

 

Unload Your Current Vehicle

 

Decide whether you are likely to get a better deal trading your current car to a dealer or selling it through a private sale. There are pros and cons to doing it either way, of course, but it depends on what best fits your plans.

 

Determine Your Budget

 

Last but not least, figure out your budget for your new car purchase. You might get preapproved for an amount much higher than what you are actually able to afford so it is vital that you come up with your own number for how much you can afford to spend on a car.

 

Buying a car is an exciting process. It can be even more fun when you take the financial steps beforehand to ensure you make a good choice and are mentally and financially prepared for it.

Understanding Which Car Is Right for You

When you start shopping for used cars, it quickly becomes apparent that you have plenty of options. With makes and models from every year imaginable, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and go with the first car within your price range. Instead of caving too early and not getting the best deal, you should learn more about how to shop for a preowned vehicle that will actually work for you.

 

Short or Long Term

 

Is this a transitional car or something you hope to drive into the ground? If you need this car as a short-term replacement, sticker price and fuel efficiency are probably your biggest concerns. Think about how long you’ll actually have to use the vehicle, and then assess which features you can live without. If this is the car you’ll be driving for the foreseeable future, the amount you pay upfront should matter less than how long the car is expected to last. A little extra money at the outset is well worth it if you get another five years out of the vehicle.

 

Exterior or Interior Issues

 

Both the inside and the outside of the car are important, but you need to focus on what is actually selling you on (or turning you off of) certain used cars. If you can get a good vehicle at a good price and the only thing giving you pause is the color, is that an issue you can overcome? Remember that cars can be repainted, and perhaps you can make it a goal to save up for a color change. Similarly, is a cosmetic issue with the interior enough to make you look past a good deal?

 

When you really look at the used cars in your area and try to think about how you’ll feel once the novelty has worn off, it becomes easier to identify your real needs. Make sure you put in this effort when you start shopping around.

How To Get a Good Deal

Getting a good deal on a used car feels great and for good reason. A good deal usually means that both parties walked away happy and, in the end, this is the goal of most companies as car dealers want their customers to walk away happy and be willing to return if they have any issues, or return for another purchase. In order to make sure both parties walk away happy, here is a short guide on how to get a good deal on a used car.

Frame of Mind

A good thing to know is to walk in with the right frame of mind. Knowing how much you plan to spend and being prepared beforehand to stick to that budget will help you find a good car that won’t break the bank. Car salesmen want to sell you a car for sure and may be willing to sell you one you can’t afford. The better able you are to stick to your budget, the more likely it is that you’ll walk away satisfied.

Buy Well

The most important part about getting a good deal isn’t sending zero money, but spending the right amount, and feeling like you got something that was worth the time you spent earning the money, so make sure that you pick a car that you love. If there is one you are unsure about, don’t feel bad about asking to keep looking. There are a lot of cars for sale, and most sales personnel want you to find the right one. As stated earlier, car dealers want to sell you a car, so they probably won’t mind spending extra time making sure that you find one you really like, rather than one you are still unsure about. This is a slightly bigger investment than deciding what to get for dinner tonight, so taking a few extra minutes will be worth it in the long run.

Why Buying a Newer Used Car Makes So Much Sense

Buying used cars is a smart move, and there are even ways to make it smarter. We can guide you through the process so you drive off our lot with a nice car at a really nice price. One truly smart move is to buy a newer used car, one that is between one to three years old. This is often the sweet spot for getting a good deal and a fine vehicle.

 

Value

 

Everyone knows a new car loses a large percentage of its resale value when it is driven off the lot. Some estimates are as high as 30 percent. After that, the depreciation of a car stabilizes for several years. When the car gets much older, depreciation tends to speed up again. When you buy a newer used car you can also benefit from lower maintenance costs. It could be years before brakes, tires, batteries and windshield wipers need to be replaced. Larger repairs such as transmission or engine work could be even further down the road.

 

Reliability

 

Newer used cars tend be very reliable, making the prospect of being stranded somewhere unlikely. Dependability in a car is one of the things people value the most. Not only can breaking down in an unfamiliar place be expensive, it could also be dangerous. Most people do not want friends or family members driving an automobile that could break down.

 

Technology

 

With a used car that is only a year or two old, you should be able to enjoy all of the latest technology for safety, comfort and performance. These cars will likely have such features as Bluetooth, lane stabilization, rearview cameras, passenger side airbags and many other advances. With savings from buying a used car, you might even be able to afford a loaded vehicle.

 

We believe used cars are a wonderful value. They offer value, reliability and smart technology all at once.

3 Ways In-House Financing Can Improve Your Credit Rating

Buying a used car is a serious financial responsibility that can impact your budget and credit rating. From making monthly payments to paying for gas, insurance and maintenance, there are many costs to consider. However, if you want to save money on a used car and potentially improve your credit rating, in-house financing may be the answer. We would like to show you several reasons why financing your car in house may be a wiser choice than obtaining a traditional loan.

 

Flexible Payment Options

 

In-house financing typically allows dealerships like ours to offer you a variety a payment options. While you may not get the lowest interest rate possible, this kind of financing, where you pay the dealership directly, can help you get a monthly payment that is generally less costly than you might get from a traditional loan. This can help you meet the monthly cost steadily, and payments that are made on time can improve your credit score over time.

 

Credit Score Improvement

 

If you have a fair credit score or have only just begun to build your credit, in-house financing can jump-start your score after you make the first few payments. Even a few points can make a difference in qualifying for major purchases, especially if you are on the cusp of fair and good credit. If you are building your credit, a higher score may eventually improve your job prospects and rental opportunities.

 

An Open Door to Future Good Credit

 

Using in-house financing to buy a used car can be the first step in establishing or rebuilding your credit. Being responsible with payments will reflect on your credit score and put you back on the road to financial wellness. This can be especially helpful if you are taking other steps to repairing your credit, such as paying off older debt.

 

In-house financing offers you many financial advantages if you are shopping for a used car. From helping you build credit from scratch to improving your score, you may be surprised at what it can do for you.

What You Need to Know About Financing Used Cars

Buying a car is an exciting experience. The process of obtaining financing, on the other hand, is less joyful. We want you to consider these aspects about financing used cars so that your experience can be a good one.

 

Obtain Your Credit Report

 

Before trying to get financing you always want to obtain your credit report. Be sure to check it for errors and report them should you notice any. Your credit report can also help you identify aspects that you are able to improve, such as paying off some debt. Improving your credit score is helpful for getting a better interest rate.

 

Decide on the Budget

 

Reviewing your finances helps you figure out how much vehicle you can or want to afford. Take into account any fluctuating, fixed and unexpected expenses, such as fuel, insurance and maintenance. If you don’t care about make and model of the vehicle, you are more flexible in finding a car that fits your budget.

 

Know Your Financing Options

 

Contact your house bank for a direct loan. Often times they offer competitive rates for their customers. In addition to that reach out to local banks, credit unions and online lenders. The latter can be a good option if you have a bad credit score and credit unions are known for offering great loan terms. The car you have your eyes on must be able to meet the bank’s basic requirements. Get offers from multiple lenders to find the best rate.

 

You can also obtain financing through your car dealership. This is a smart choice if you are not keen on one specific vehicle. Most dealerships finance any vehicle on their lot, which opens up your options for getting a great deal. Furthermore, many dealerships offer financing for people with bad credit. It is recommended to put down some money in order to get the best interest rate. This is also important because cars depreciate in value and you don’t want to owe more on it than it’s worth.

 

Being smart in regard to financing a car can get you a great deal. Be sure to bear in mind these aspects about financing used cars.

How to Evaluate a Used Car Dealership

When you are looking at used cars, you have to evaluate the dealership and the vehicle to ensure you are getting the best deal. It is important that you are working with a dealership that has a good reputation for financing options, customer service and vehicle quality. There are a few tips you can use to evaluate them to ensure that they will provide the best service.

 

Read Plenty of Reviews

 

One of the great things about the internet is that you can find information about any business, including car dealerships of all sizes. You want to simply Google the name of the dealership and the location, including both city and state. You will likely get a number of results for review pages so you can really dig deep and see what past customers have to say. It is best to read at least 30 reviews for a comprehensive view of the dealership’s reputation.

 

Check the Better Business Bureau

 

When you are on the BBB website, you can get more information about how customers feel about the dealership. You will also see the rating. They use a number grading scale just like you had in school. So, an “A” rating is best and an “F” rating is worst.

 

Head to the Dealership

 

The last part of the process is to see how you are treated once you get to the dealership. Consider how they accommodate you and the level of customer service that you receive. You can then look at the big picture and see how your personal experience matches up to the online reviews and BBB information to decide if you will work with the dealership.

 

It is ideal to evaluate the dealership before you even step onto the lot. Most of these tasks can be done from home when you have spare time. Just look thoroughly and keep an open mind during the process to ensure you get the information you need.

Maintenance Tips for Used Cars

We know you love your car. You’ve spent a lot of time in it. It has gotten you from Point A to Point B, and you probably have some good memories in the driver’s seat.  Used cars need TLC. In order to keep your car running smoothly and make sure that it lasts you as long as possible, it is important to keep on top of maintenance.

 

Understand Your Maintenance Schedule

 

If you read your owner’s manual you will see that it describes the maintenance schedule for your vehicle. We understand that in your busy day-to-day life, vehicle maintenance may not be at the top of your list – especially if nothing looks or sounds amiss. However, regular maintenance is what keeps things from going amiss! That’s why we recommend using reminders in the calendar app in your phone to keep track of what needs to be done when.

 

Keep Your Car Clean

 

This one is easy! Cleaning your car regularly isn’t just a good idea for aesthetic reasons; it can also keep your car running its best. Hose out the undercarriage and wheel wells to clear those areas of mud and dirt. If you live somewhere that it snows, don’t let this practice fall by the wayside in the cold weather. Road salt is bad for cars.

 

Get Maintenance Done at the Dealership

 

We’re the experts when it comes to treating your car the way should be treated. When you bring your car to us for maintenance, you can have peace of mind that it is in capable, knowledgeable, and experienced hands. We’re here for your car for the little things you need regularly, like oil changes, and the big repairs too!

 

Regular maintenance is essential in order to keep used cars in solid working order for as long as possible. Use your smartphone to stay on top of the recommended maintenance schedule, keep your car clean, and bring your car to the dealership to help ensure that you and your car will have a long, happy life together.