Do you need to get a car? If you need a car and are looking for a used vehicle, you are not alone. There were about 38.2 million sales involving used vehicles in 2015, according the 2015 Used Vehicle Market Report. Every year the number of used car sales, either from used car dealerships or private individuals hovers around that number.
- Set your budget. The first thing you need to do when you are looking to make any kind of large purchase is to pull your credit report, do a self audit of your finances and decide how much you can afford to spend on your “new” car. You should look at how much money you have coming and going. Experts recommend limiting the amount you spend to 25% of what you bring in every month. Keep in mind the fact that the price tag on the car or truck is only one of the costs of buying a car. You then have insurance, registration and maintenance to think about. Factor all of those in when you are setting your budget.
- Get your financing. If you decide to buy from the used car dealership, they may be able to offer you financing but you will find yourself in a better position if you walk in with some of your own financing. Talk to the bank or financial institution you use and see if they can offer you a loan. If they say no, check with local credit unions and see if you can work something out with one of them. One of the reasons they even exist is to help people in the community. They cannot say yes if you do not ask.
- Decide if you want to buy from a used car dealership. The decision to go to a used car dealership to buy a preowned car or go to to Craigslist may seem hard. There are a lot of benefits to going to a used car dealership. They have a lot more used cars that you can look at and test drive. They also may have options for financing and for repairs that a private seller will not have. You are covered by federal lemon laws either way but you may have more options with the used car dealership.
- Do some research online. Look at the different kinds of cars that you may want to check out online before you head out to a used car dealership. Think about what you are going to use the used car for. Do you do a lot of driving? Do you have to haul a lot of stuff? Do you have kids who play sports? A small convertible may not work if you have a large family. Think about the features you need and the size vehicle you want.
- Go to the used car dealership. Even if you think you want to buy from a private person, go to the used car dealership and check out the cars. Take a test drive in a few. This will give you an idea of what the cars feel like to drive, how they handle and how you will enjoy driving them. You are not locking yourself into anything when you take a test drive. When you are looking for used cars for sale, getting a chance to test drive them can make a big difference.
- Do not fear the car salesperson. People often have an idea of what the average used car salesperson. They think when they get to a pre-owned dealership the salespeople will descent on them like locusts. They think the salespeople will not let them leave the used car dealership until they have bought something. None of this is true. They want the people who buy cars with them to be happy about the purchases and they want them to get cars they can afford, not ones that out of their price range. They want to do right by their customers so they get a good review.
Many people find buying a new or used car is a stressful experience but it does not have to be. Have some fun and you will get the right car for you and your family.