4 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Used Car

Used Car
car, sale, car dealership @ Pixabay

Buy used cars can be scary; it’s never too early to plan for the purchase, though. If you want to greatly increase your odds of buying a dependable and trustworthy vehicle at an affordable price, here are four things you should know before purchasing that used car.

1. Know your budget before going to the dealership.

A friendly reminder: buying a car is not a spur-of-the-moment decision, and you should be prepared to spend some time crunching numbers. Do you have a certain price range in mind? If so, how much of that budget will you realistically be able to spend on the vehicle you purchase? How much should other vehicle expenses—including gas, insurance, and maintenance—take out of that budget? What are the trade-offs involved with raising your budget? A simple Excel spreadsheet can help you answer all these questions.

2. Research prices for similar vehicles on reputable websites.

To be able to accurately compare pre-owned cars on the market, make sure you use websites like Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com). To get a good sense of what cars you can expect to find for each different price range, do your research online and find what you consider to be the most reliable, trustworthy websites.

3. Assess the reliability and reputation of the seller/buyer before committing to purchasing.

Look up the history of the seller. Talk to friends, family, or anyone else that may know about the seller. If you’re buying from a private party, ask to see proof of ownership; if you’re buying from a dealership, ask for their business license and any customer complaints filed. It’s also important to ask questions about the car, like how many owners it has had or why they are selling it. You can even run an online vehicle history report at CarFax (CarFax.com) or Autocheck (Autocheck.com).

4. Bring someone with experience with cars with you when purchasing your used car.

Choose someone you trust, like a mechanic or a professional car inspector. If you’re buying from a private party, ask them to prove ownership by bringing the title to the purchase agreement. It’s also helpful to bring someone who knows how to negotiate so they can help you save money on the vehicle.

When it comes down to it, buying a used car is much smarter than buying a new one. Not only do you get more bang for your buck, but there’s just something pretty cool about driving around in an older-model car—especially if it comes with low mileage! Auto financing options are available at CarsDirect.com that can help you purchase the used car of your dreams.

Purchasing a used vehicle is a huge decision and should not be done lightly. There are a number of things to look for when purchasing a vehicle so you don’t become a victim of fraud or wasting your money on a lemon. Here are some tips from an auto loan specialist from The Drive Financial who will explain how to avoid those situations by following these three things to look for.


You would never purchase a used car without doing some kind of research first. You have to educate yourself on the companies that sell used cars, the options that are open to you, and what kind of reputation a certain dealership has. The last thing you want is a car that is going to break down on the road because it was not well maintained by its previous owner or something was done incorrectly by a mechanic working on it. To avoid situations like this, do your research.

Financing Options

There are financing options available for almost anyone looking for used cars in Salt Lake City Utah. Whether you are looking to finance a vehicle with no money down or monthly payments, there are options out there for you. Make sure you are making an informed decision when it comes to financing because the difference in the amount of interest paid when you purchase a loan can be very substantial.

Look at the Vehicle History Report

If possible, look at the vehicle history report before purchasing a car. If the car has been in accidents with damage that was reported, then that is something you want to look into. You also want to find out what kind of mileage the car has on it and if there were any recalls done on it.


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