Lots of people buy used cars and trucks. Every year, almost 40 million used cars and trucks are sold by individuals and local used auto dealers. If you need to purchase a vehicle, there are some things you can do to make sure you get the right one for your needs.
- Determine your budget. Before you do any research into any cars, you need to know what you can spend. Carefully go over your budget. Look at how much money you have coming in and what your expenses each month are. When you are thinking about how much you can spend for your car, remember that you have to pay for more than just the sticker price on the car, you need to also factor in the title, tax, registration and cost to insure your vehicle. You do not want your car payments to be more than a third of your income. This may narrow down the number of cars and trucks that you can realistically look at.
- Get your credit report. If you have not had your credit report run in a while, you should do that before you head out to talk to the local used auto dealer. You need to know what the used car dealerships will see when they look at your credit history and score. You do not want to be surprised by anything and that is why you need to have your credit report run before you go. Some people will balk at this but you can work to fix problems when you know what they are.
- Talk to your financial institution. If you have a mortgage, you should talk to the financial institution who holds that. If you do not have a mortgage, you should still talk to the bank you use. They may be able to offer you a good deal on an auto loan. It is true that the local used auto dealer will be able to offer you a financing deal but your car buying experience may go a lot easier if you have a financing deal when you walk in. If your bank cannot help you, try the local credit union.
- Decide how you will use your car. What do you need you car for? Do you have a family? Do you have kids who play a lot of sports? How much driving do you do? Knowing what you will use the car for can help you decide what car is the right car for you and your needs. This can make a big difference as you look at the different features and extras you might need on your car.
- Do some research. Look online at different makes and models of cars and trucks. Once you have determined what you need in a vehicle, you can spend some time looking at cars and trucks that meet those needs. You will be in a better position when you head to the local used auto dealer if you have a list of cars you want to check out and a list of features you need. This will help ensure you have the best car buying experience possible.
- Go to the local used auto dealer. Once you have your list of makes and models you want, it is time to go to the local used car dealer. Some people are worried that when they get to the dealership, the auto sales people will descend on them like locusts. They think the salespeople will not let them leave without buying something, even if they cannot really afford it. None of that is true. The auto salespeople want to make a sale but they also want you to be happy. They are not as scary as some people think. They can be very helpful in getting you the vehicle you need.
- Test drive a few cars. Despite all of the research you can do online, you really need to try out a few cars to get a sense for how they feel and handle.
Used car salespeople may have a bad reputation but they can be very helpful when it comes to buying the right used vehicle for you and your needs.