Setting out to shop for used cars can be daunting. There are thousands of cars out there, and selecting the perfect one takes time, patience and common sense. A snap decision based on eye appeal might leave you with an expensive car that doesn’t suit you. Nor do you want to snatch the cheapest car and find yourself the proud owner of a lemon.
Before you head to the car lot, decide how much you can afford for the down payment and the overall car. Arrange the necessary financing. A good rule of thumb is to keep car payments lower than one fifth of your net pay.
Once you are at the dealership, shop with purpose. Have an idea of what you want, research and compare prices, and make sure you get key details on used cars of interest from the seller. Ask about the car’s history and performance. You can fact check vehicle records easily through several online databases.
When you’ve found one or more used cars that appeal to you, get cozy with them. Test seats, explore trunks, pop hoods and check fluids. Go over each car for structural issues. Don’t worry about minor scrapes, but do watch for misalignment such as closed doors that don’t align with the frame, a sign of previous damage. If you’re not sure what to look for, bring a car-wise buddy or consult the owner’s manual.
Last but not least, take the car out for a spin. Accelerate to highway speeds, test the car on corners and hills and brake hard to check for braking capability. Consider driving the car to a mechanic for an inspection. When you settle on a car, your next step is to negotiate with the dealer. If you’ve done your research, you will know the car’s value and can bargain accordingly. If you have prearranged financing, the dealer may compete by offering lower rates to your benefit.
Doing your homework is key to finding the right used cars. Follow the steps above to buy a car that will go for thousands of miles. Leave a comment Researching Used Cars
Buying a used car can be daunting if you haven’t purchased one before. There are always concerns about the condition of the vehicle, but if you work closely with a reputable dealer specializing in used cars, you can get a dependable vehicle for a great price. Asking the right questions and doing some research is part of the process.
Find a Dependable Make and Model
Kelley Blue Books and online consumer groups can help you find makes and models that are rated well for reliability and low repair costs. If a car doesn’t have a good resale value, there may be a reason. Don’t forget to check gas mileage and maintenance costs as well.
Test Drive Used Cars
Never purchase any vehicles without taking them out for a test drive. Listen to the engine, pay attention to any knocking or pinging and get a feel for how smooth the ride is. When you test drive, make sure you take the vehicle on local roads as well as the highway. Trying a used vehicle under a variety of condition will help you narrow down your options to cars that you’re truly comfortable driving.
Get a Vehicle History Report
Request a vehicle history report from one of several online services. You’ll need the vehicle identification number (VIN number), which any auto dealership can provide you. You can also see it in the lower corner of the driver’s side window when you’re looking at it from outside. When you check the report, look for accidents, water damage and other issues that could affect the car’s performance.
Consider Other Costs
Insurance, monthly maintenance and fuel economy all figure into the actual cost of a car, not just the sticker price. Get insurance quotes, look into maintenance costs and check the mileage estimates. All of these will impact the car’s actual cost.
Proper research and working with a trusted automobile dealership will guarantee you the best price for your next used car.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.