It has been estimated that the average car that is being driven in the United States is about 11 years old. If you are looking to buy a used car, you are in good company. Most sales of cars and trucks are of used vehicles. Some people find buying a used car to be a stressful experience. It does not have to be. The following tips can help in the process.
- Work out your budget. Before you make any big purchase you need to work out your finances and determine what you can afford. Go through what you make every month and what you need to spend. When you are deciding what you can and want to spend, you should keep in mind the fact that the actual cost of the car is not the only cost of buying a used car. You have to pay to register the car and insure it. The price of both varies from state to state and from situation to situation. You may want to talk to some insurance companies if you have never had car insurance before.
- Run your credit report. Before you talk to any used car dealerships or to any banks or financial institutions, you need to know what they will see in your credit report. It would be really bad for you to find out things about that credit report when you were talking to lenders or dealerships. You can better prepare yourself to talk to them if you spend the time to get the report in advance and read it. This may or may not be an enjoyable experience but you should know the full details of your credit before you loom to take out an auto loan.
- Try to work out your financing in advance. Talk to your bank or any financial institutions you work with on a regular basis. While it is true that most used car dealerships can and will work with on on financing you may get a better deal from the bank that provided you with your mortgage. Also, even if your bank will not offer you any auto financing help, you may get help from another such as a credit union. If you go to the car dealership with a financing deal in hand, you will get a better deal from their lending department.
- Do some research online. When you are starting the process of buying a used car, you should think about what you will be doing with the car and what features you will need. Write up a list of the features you need and then head to the internet to start your research into the various car makes and models that you are interested in. When you do show up at the used car dealership, they can help you look at the cars that interest you the most.
- Go to the dealer. Now that you have done your research online and have determined your budget, it is time to head out to the used car dealership. Many people assume that all used car salespeople are bloodthirsty vultures who are hell bent on making their sales quotas with no regard for the customer. This could not be farther from the truth. They want their customers to be happy with and be able to afford their purchases. When you go, just bring your budget and the list of cars that interests you and they will help you find some options.
- Test drive a few models. You can do a lot of research online but nothing really compares to actually going in and driving the cars for yourself. You can see how it feels behind the wheel, test out the brakes and just get a sense for how the car handles. You may find that a car you thought was great is not as much fun to drive as you would have thought and a car you did not like as much is better than you would have thought.
While many people find buying a used car to be a stressful experience, it really does not have to be. If you do these things, you will have a better experience.