There are a lot of reasons people go for used cars rather than new models. One reason is that they can often get “more” car for the price. It has been estimated that the typical car on the road today is 11 years old. If you are thinking about heading to car dealerships to look at used vehicles, there are some things that you can do to make sure you get the right car or truck and do not spend too much on it. Here are some tips to make the experience of buying a used car or truck better.
- Set your budget. Before you go about making any big purchase, it is important to go through your finances to see what you will be able to afford. You need to take a hard look at your bills and how much money you have coming in every month. Many experts recommend you spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on your car payments.
- Run a credit report on yourself. Before you talk to any financial institutions, banks or car dealerships you should make it a point to run a full credit report on yourself. You want to know what your credit score is, of course, but you also need to go through and check for mistakes. You also want to make sure that you know everything that is on your report. The last thing you want is to get to the point where you talk about your loan and find there are things on your report that surprise you.
- Get financing before you go in. Before you go to look at car dealerships, talk to your bank. If you have a mortgage or have done a lot of business with a bank or other financial institution, you should start by talking to them about any help they can give you in terms of a car loan. If you are turned down, you may want to try the local credit union or community bank. They are there to help people in the community get the loans they need. You should also make a point of not making any large purchases, if you can avoid making them. This can help your credit score. You will get a better deal from the car dealership if you walk in with an approved car loan.
- Think about how much you plan to drive. Different people have different needs for their vehicles. You should think about how much you will be driving, what you might be hauling and how this vehicle will help your life. A person with a big family will need something different from the person who will use the car or truck for their catering business.
- Do some research. Spend some time looking online at different makes and models of vehicles. You should have an idea of what makes and models you will want to look at when you get to the car dealerships around your area. You can make a much more educated decision when you have taken the time to do some basic research on the kinds of vehicles that may work for your needs. Make a list of the features you absolutely need, what you would like and what you can live without.
- Test drive some cars. Go to the car dealerships and test drive the cars you are considering buying. A vehicle may look great, or it may look awful, online but then when you get behind the wheel, you may have a completely different opinion. When you are looking at different makes and models of cars, make sure you have your questions answered. When you have a list of questions, you should never feel that your salesperson does not want to answer them for you.
Many people are worried about what kind of experience they will have when they visit used car dealerships. They assume they will be ambushed by used car salespeople who will not take “no” for an answer. The truth of the matter is that most of the time, they are more interested in having happy customers and will work to make sure shoppers get what they need and can afford.