5 Tips for Buying the Right Used Car

Used cars

According to the Used Vehicle Market Report, 2015 was a very good year for used cars for sale. That year, at least 38.3 million used cars and trucks were sold. This was the best year for used car sales in about eight years, though every year almost 40 million used cars and trucks change hands in the United States. If you are looking for a used car and are planning to visit some auto dealers in your area, there are ways to make the experience better and to get the kind of vehicle that suits your needs.

  1. Check your finances and set your budget. Before you talk to you the local auto dealers, it is important to get an idea of what your true financial situation is. Look at your debt load, how much money you have coming in and what your bills are every month. Most people finance their car and truck purchases with a loan, if you are going to do that, you should make it a point to not make any large purchases in the several months leading up to your visit to a used car dealership. Paying down your debts can also help with your car loan situation.
  2. Run a credit report on yourself. If you have not run a credit report on yourself in a while, you should do this before you head out to the used auto dealership. You want to have seen exactly what the auto dealers see when they run your credit report. There are often mistakes and other problems on credit reports. It is possible to get these taken off of your report but it takes some time Even if you have to go look at used cars for sale before the erroneous data is removed, knowing about it when you go in to see about a car loan will make a difference. You do not want any surprises when you are talking to auto dealers.
  3. See if you can get a loan before you go to the dealership. If you have a mortgage, talk to your lender about taking out a car loan before you head out to talk to auto dealers. Even if you plan to go with the financing at the car dealership, having a loan in hand when you go can get you better terms. If you do not have a mortgage, you should still go to the bank or financial institution that you use for your banking. If your bank turns you down, you should try the local community bank or credit union. They exist to be more helpful to people in the community and may have more flexibility. Remember, they cannot say yes if you do not ask.
  4. Decide what you need the car for. What are you going to use the vehicle for? Do you have a large family and kids who play a ton of sports? Will you be hauling equipment? Is this a “for fun” vehicle that you will just tool around town in? The needs you have for the vehicle will determine what kind of vehicle you end up getting. Spend some time thinking about your actual needs will make the process a lot easier and can narrow down your search. This is also a good way to make sure you do get the car you want and will meet your needs.
  5. Check out some cars at local auto dealers. People often have a bad impression of the used car dealer even before they get to the car dealership. They have an idea that they are going to get to the car dealership where the salespeople will descend, like hungry locusts, on unsuspecting car buyers. People assume that the salespeople will pressure people so that they can make a sale and that they do not care if the person can really afford it or not. This could not be further from the truth. The car salespeople want to find you the car you can afford and that will make you happy. Give them your budget and needs and take the cars they recommend for test drives.

Take your time, follow these tips and you will get the right used car.

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