In the Market for a Used Vehicle?
Consider These Tips Before You Complete Your Purchase
If you’re in the market for a used car, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that vehicles are hard to come by and purchase prices are through the roof. Shopping for a used car may be a lot of work, but when done right, it can be well worth your time. While it’s easy to focus on the numbers like the age of the car, mileage and cost, you want to make sure to select a car that fits your needs for however long you expect to have it. If your family might be growing or you’re planning on a job change, you may want to rethink that two-door coupe or sedan.
Secure Your Financing Before You Shop
Arguably, this can be the most important step in preparing to purchase a vehicle. Getting pre-approved can make the car buying process a smooth one. You’ll be able to lock your rate in for up to 45 days while you continue shopping for a vehicle that fits you and your budget, thanks to our Best-in-Market Auto Loan rates, that are available as low as 4.69% Fixed APR.
Find a Balance
Finding a balance between reliability and price is important as you begin shopping. The older a car is, the cheaper it will likely be. However, it may be more prone to issues requiring repair, which could end up costing you more in the long run. It’s also important to establish a realistic budget before you shop and determine your needs versus wants.
Consider a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle
A certified pre-owned vehicle will go through a very thorough inspection by a dealership and must meet certain parameters before being sold as a certified pre-owned vehicle. While you may be paying a little more for a CPO vehicle, you are getting a used car that will cost less than a new one due to depreciation, and one that has been meticulously inspected for problems and that is backed by a warranty, just like a new vehicle would.
Get Down with a Down Payment
Making a down payment can help you in multiple ways, all while ensuring your budget and finances stay intact. A down payment could help lower your monthly payments or allow you to get a shorter term on your loan. Making a significant down payment also makes it less likely that you’ll end up being underwater on a vehicle in a year or two down the road.
Research & Inspect Your Vehicle
The last thing you want to do is purchase a used vehicle that was in a major accident or may have multiple red flags. You can find out just about anything you want to know about a car online, so make sure to use those online resources to your advantage while shopping.
- Check the Vehicle History Report. Whether you’re looking at a Carfax Report or other sources, it’s important to see if that particular model has been in an accident, been declared a salvaged or flooded vehicle, had multiple owners, and to confirm its maintenance records and the number of miles on the vehicle.
- Take it For a Test Drive. Don’t leave without test driving first. The last thing you want is to experience buyer's remorse because you didn’t take the car for a test drive.
- Have the Vehicle Inspected. In addition to walking around and inspecting the vehicle yourself, having a certified mechanic thoroughly inspect a vehicle can save you from headaches and expensive repair bills.
Shopping for Your Vehicle
The marketplace for purchasing a vehicle has shifted dramatically over the past few years. It's not just dealerships anymore thanks to certified online sites like Carvana and TrueCar. These sites have made the car buying process easier than ever before and could provide you with the vehicle you're looking for.
Given the state of the current used-car market, where supply may be limited and prices are high, you may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for at the price you want. Ask the right questions, do your research and don't make an emotional decision without considering all the options.
Purchasing a used vehicle doesn't have to be difficult. Understanding the process, asking questions and doing your research can help you get the right vehicle at a price you can afford. Following these steps can ease the process for you to ensure you’re getting a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle that you can enjoy for years to come.