back to articles | March 06, 2024 | Dale Peterson

Categories: Tips & Insights For Car Buying

Tips for Buying a Good Used Car

Buying a used car can be a cost-effective way to own a vehicle, and financing options can make it even more accessible.


Buying a used car can be a cost-effective way to own a vehicle, and financing options can make it even more accessible. However, the process can be overwhelming. In this article, we hope to provide you with valuable tips to ensure that you make a well-informed decision when purchasing a used car with financing from a private seller or a dealership.

Be Sure to Set Your Budget: Before you begin searching for a used car, it's crucial to establish a realistic budget. Consider the purchase price and the ongoing costs like insurance, maintenance, and fuel. With a clear budget in mind, you can narrow down your options and avoid the temptation of overspending.

It’s A Good Idea To Check Your Credit Score: Your credit score plays a significant role in determining the interest rate you'll receive on your auto loan. A higher credit score can lead to lower interest rates, potentially saving you a considerable amount of money over the life of the loan. Obtain a copy of your credit report, review it for any errors, and take steps to improve your score if necessary.

Be Sure To Research the Car's Value: Thoroughly research the make, model, and year of the used car you're interested in. Websites and tools like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds can provide you with valuable information on the car's market value, helping you negotiate a fair price with the seller.

Be Smart And Choose the Right Financing Option: There are various financing options available when buying a used car, including dealership financing, banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Compare interest rates, loan terms, and repayment options to find the best fit for your financial situation. Consider to not only get up to four approvals, but it is great to have pre-approval for financing. Use this site to also give you a clear idea of how much you can afford.

Inspect the Car's History: Obtain a vehicle history report using the car's VIN number to uncover crucial information such as accidents, title issues, and service records. This report can help you avoid purchasing a car with hidden problems that could lead to costly repairs down the line.

Make sure you have a Mechanic Inspect the Car: Before finalizing the purchase, have a trusted mechanic inspect the used car for any potential mechanical or structural issues. Let the seller know you want to have this done and that you are open to having them take the used auto to their place of business and will meet them there. Their expertise can provide you with insights into the car's condition, allowing you to make an informed decision and potentially negotiate a lower price if repairs are needed.

Don’t forget to negotiate the Price: Don't hesitate to negotiate the price with the seller, especially if you've identified any issues during the inspection. You will have more leverage if you are able to have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic. Use your research on the car's value and any potential repairs as leverage to arrive at a fair price that aligns with your budget.

Buying a good used car with financing requires careful planning and research. By setting a budget, checking your credit score, researching the car's value, selecting the right financing option, inspecting its history, having a mechanic review it, and skillfully negotiating, you can confidently drive away in a reliable vehicle without breaking the bank.

Good luck and Happy Shopping