If it is your first time to buy a pre-owned vehicle, there are a few things you should know before you get started. Before visiting the best used car dealers in your community, take note of these valuable planning and shopping tips:
- Develop a realistic budget for what you can afford to pay each month. Cash is typically not an option, so financing information is essential.
- What are your transportation requirements? Take into consideration your travel to and from work, how many passengers and how much gear you will be transporting and the types of roads you will most often travel.
- Take note of your wants versus your needs. They are often entirely different, so try to focus on your needs.
- Conduct some online research about different vehicles. Sites like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are beneficial.
- Find a reputable used car dealership near you. You can research them online, as well.
- When you find an auto or two at a dealer, be sure to take them for at least one test drive. More than one is even better. Drive in different traffic conditions, city streets and country roads and the interstate to see how they handle in varied situations.
- When discussing price with the sales staff, tell them your total budget, not what you can afford each month. There is a distinct difference.
- Decide whether you will finance at the dealer or get a loan from another lender.
- Have fun! Buying a car doesn’t happen very often. Take your time and enjoy yourself.