steps to buying a used car 04-2019 2020-03-18آ 2 steps to buying a used car shopping for a used...
Post on 04-Jul-2020
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Buying a Used Car Shopping for a used car is an exciting process. You’ll get to think about what you want your next car to be, then end up with a stylish ride that’s usually more affordable. There’s a lot to do between looking at cars online and getting the keys to one. So, how do you make sure you’re prepared and getting a good rate? To help you navigate the process, we’ll explore these Steps to Buying a Used Car.
1.Set A Budget
The fi rst thing you should do before you start looking for a car is fi gure out your price range. Get your fi nances in order and then calculate how much you can afford to spend on car payments each month. It’s just as important to set money aside for a down payment, too.
Having everything in order before you start searching for your next used car can benefi t you in all sorts of ways. First, it’ll make everything easier later on when it’s time to discuss fi nancing. Second, it’ll help you get an idea of what your price range is before you even start browsing through used cars.
There are a few tools you can use to make building a budget easier. For example, it’s easy to find a car payment calculator online. Many dealerships even offer one on their finance center’s page. These let you play around with terms for an auto loan, so you can see what kind of rate, term length, and down payment you’d be making.
You should also ask yourself if you’d consider trading in what you’re driving now. By trading in your old car, you can knock off some of the cost of the one you want to buy. To find out what your trade-in value is and see how much your car can help you buy its replacement, you can check out some dependable sites like Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Kelley Blue Book®.
2. Check Your Credit Score
The most important part of getting your finances in order is finding out what your credit score is. Everything from the kind of financing options you’re offered to whether or not you’re approved for an auto loan depends on your credit.
To check your credit score and see your credit history, you can look online. There are a handful of free, reliable sources you can use like Experian and Credit Karma. Once you know where you stand, it’s always smart to take some steps to improve your credit.
First, don’t panic if your credit is less than perfect. There are a few ways you can improve your score. One of the most effective ways is to pay off any debts, loans, or outstanding lines of credit you have. That can include everything from credit card bills to student loans to rent and utilities. Once these are paid up, your score will reflect it.
Another thing you can do is hold off on opening any new lines of credit until after you’ve been approved for an auto loan. So, until you’ve purchased the car, refrain from signing up for any new credit cards or making any other big purchases that would require taking out a loan.
Whether you have stellar credit or you’re just starting to work on improving it, focusing on your credit now can help you qualify for more favorable financing options and get approved for an auto loan later on.
3. Find the Right Used Car For You
Now that you’ve gotten organized, it’s time to find a used car that’s both in your price range and offers what you need in your next car. Do you need an efficient car? A roomy midsize sedan? A rugged pickup truck? What about an SUV with space for the whole family? Ask yourself these questions to zero in on some options.
Next, make a list of what you’d like your used car to have and what you need it to have. This will help you look for vehicles that match your requirements. By having a list of what’s absolutely necessary and what’s just a nice perk, you’ll also be able to quickly filter down your options and see which models are in your price range.
4. Look At Local Dealership’s Inventory
After you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start your search. Check the used car inventory at your local car dealerships. It’s best to look local since it’s easier for you to go see their inventory in person and take a test drive. Most used car dealerships will make their full selection available online and let you search with filters like model year, mileage, body style, and color.
5. Read the Vehicle History Report
When you see a used car that you’re interested in, you’ll obviously want to learn all about it before you decide to buy. This vehicle had a full history and previous owners, so of course you’ll want to know every chapter of its backstory.
To provide you with that information, most dealerships will offer a free CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™. These give you every detail of the used car’s background including its complete service history, notes on any recurring issues or repairs, and even a profile of its previous owner. If you don’t see a vehicle history report listed on their website, contact the dealership to request one.
6. Make Sure You’re Getting Fair Value
After you’ve narrowed your sights on a used car that you’re interested in buying, do some extra research to make sure it’s fairly priced. Remember those value your trade-in tools from earlier? Try using those to see what the car’s estimated worth is.
Another way you can check is to compare the dealership’s list price with other’s in the area. If competing local dealerships offer a similar model in the same price range, you’ll know that the used car you want is accurately listed.
7. Take a Test Drive
Now that you’ve done your homework, searched dealerships in your area, and gotten your credit and finances in order, it’s time for you to get behind the wheel. A test drive is your opportunity to see if the used car looks as good in person as it does online. This is your chance to see what kind of condition it’s in and how it feels to actually drive it.
Make sure you see how it feels for all your passengers, too. Sit in every seat to check if there’s enough room for your friends, family, and cargo. While you’re on the road, play around with the heating, air conditioning system, and all the infotainment features.
After you’ve taken it for a test drive, get out and walk around the car. Give it your own personal inspection. Look for any signs of wear and tear then pop the hood and check under the car for any leaks, unusual smells, or sounds. Doing this now gives you the opportunity to get it fixed or ask about anything out of the ordinary before you decide to buy.
8. Have the Car Inspected
On top of looking over the car yourself, it’s always smart to have a set of trained eyes inspect it, too. After your test drive, ask to have the car inspected. The dealership should have a team of technicians in the service center who will be able to look over everything from the parts under the hood to your upholstery.
This is yet another opportunity to cover all your bases and get any service or maintenance issues ironed out before signing on the dotted line and putting money down on the vehicle.
9. Ask About A Warranty
Almost all new cars and certified pre-owned cars come with a warranty. For used cars, it often depends on how old the vehicle is, how many miles are on it, and the dealership’s policy. Before you start discussing terms for an auto loan, ask the finance center about a warranty.
Since warranties are a sensible way to help drivers take care of maintenance and service, lots of manufacturers and dealerships offer them on used cars, too. On average a used will need maintenance more often than a new one, so it’s good to check and see if the used car you’re buying is eligible for one
10. Applying for Insurance
Now that you’re all set and the car is in good shape and ready to roll, you’ll meet with a member of the dealer’s finance center. They’ll review the financing process with you and discuss what kind of rates and terms you qualify for in an auto loan.
This is where you’ll be glad you worked on credit earlier. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for an auto loan with financing rates and terms that work for you. Plus, if you played around with a payment calculator earlier, you’ll also have a good idea what kind of financing you’re looking for.
Happy Used Car Shopping
By following these Steps to Buying a Used Car, you’ll be more organized and well prepared before you start shopping. You’ll also have a better idea of everything from the car’s history to how much it’s worth to what to look for during a test drive. They can help you from the moment you decide you’re looking for a used car till you’re closing and signing on the dotted line. Now you can get started on shopping for your next used car! Good luck!