Every year approximately 40 million used cars are sold every year in the United States. For cars that are being driver around on the road today, the typical age is 11 years old. If you are looking to buy any one of the used vehicles that are offered at used car dealerships, there are ways to make your experience better and to ensure that you get the car or truck that meets your needs. From doing research and looking in a Kelley Blue Book, to making sure you know all of your financing options, this experience can be more fun and less stressful than you may think.
- Get your finances together. Before you go checking the Kelley Blue Book, you need to spend some time looking through your finances. Have you credit score run and obtain your credit history. People do not often realize that not everything is reported to the different credit bureaus and some of what is on your report may not be accurate. You can get things that are wrong on your report taken off but it does take some time. Also, you need to have what the car financing people have on your. You do not want to be surprised by what is on your credit report when you get to the car dealer.
- Draft a budget. When you are looking through your finances, look at how much money you have coming in and what your financial obligations every month. Look at how much money you owe on your credit cards, student loans mortgage or whatever else. Decide what you can spend on this purchase. For a few months before you buy a “new” car (it is new for you!), hold off on making other big purchases. You will get a better deal on your financing if you are careful. When you start looking at the Kelley Blue Book, you can keep your search to vehicles that are in your price range.
- Get a car loan. Talk to your bank or financial institution. You may end up getting your financing from the used car dealer but if you have a loan in hand, you will get a better deal on that loan. Talk to the lender from whom you received your mortgage, if you have one. If you do not have one but use a bank, talk to the bank. If you do not get a positive response from your bank, talk to local credit unions or community banks. They are around for the purpose of helping people in the community. Remember, they cannot say yes if you do not ask so it is worth it to ask.
- Decide what you need your “new” car for. What do you need the vehicle for? Are you hauling a lot of stuff around? Do you have a larger family and have kids who play a lot of sports? The uses you have for the vehicle will determine what kind of vehicles you look at. Knowing what you are going to need the car for will help you get the right vehicle.
- Research several cars. Before you head to the car dealer, you should do some research. Once you know what kinds of vehicles you are interested in, you can do some research. The Kelley Blue Book can be a very useful source of information on used cars. The appraisals they give can give you a sense of what make and model of vehicle you can afford. You should look online and in the Kelley Blue Book before you check out cars at the car dealership.
- Go to the used car dealer. Some people are worried that when they go to the used car dealership, they are going to be harassed until they buy a car, regardless of whether or not they can afford it. At least 43% of all car buyers who go to a dealership find the experience helpful. Go to the dealership, tell the salesperson what you are looking for and how much you can spend and you may be surprised that you have a good experience.
Buying a used vehicle does not have to be stressful. If you take your time and research your options, it can be pleasant.