Shopping Tips

What to Avoid When Shopping for a Used Car

A used car is a sensible investment when you need to purchase a replacement vehicle. It’s less money out of pocket, cheaper insurance, and a lower monthly payment.

You’ll be dealing with some issues involving wear and tear in exchange for the lower price. That’s why you’ll want to avoid making these costly mistakes while shopping for a used vehicle.

Stuff You Shouldn’t Do When Shopping for Used Cars

1. Rely on Dealer Financing

You’ll want to buy a used car with financing lined up through a bank you trust. This option gives you more ways to negotiate a better rate or shop around for the best deal. It’ll still have a higher interest rate since there is more risk, but you’ll find better options than “no credit, no problem” locations.

2. Focus on the Payment

Although a lower monthly payment helps with the budget, it might not save you money. You’ll want to get the most vehicle you can afford to avoid maintenance charges and other problems. If you have the option, consider leasing a certified pre-owned model to prevent complications.

3. Forget the Test Drive

About 1 in 5 buyers don’t take a used car for a test drive before purchasing it. You’ll need to take the longest sampling possible to understand what to expect from the vehicle. This step protects you against issues with buyer’s remorse.

4. Not Having It Independently Checked

Please don’t trust the dealership when they say that the vehicle checks out and is a great deal. You’ll want an independent mechanic you trust to inspect it before buying the car. If that option gets denied, you’ll want to walk away from the deal.

Salespeople want you to come to the dealership because you’re more likely to leave with a used car. It might help to negotiate these steps over the phone or online first to get the right price. Don’t forget to do your research first!