If you are in the market for a used car or truck, you are not alone. Nearly three out of every four car transactions in the United States involve pre owned cars. Edmunds has reported that there were more than 9.81 million used cars sold in the United States in 2015. Typically a vehicle will have three owners over the course of its lifetime. There are some things you can do to make your experience at the used car dealership better.
- Set a budget. Take a good and hard look at your finances. Look at how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out. You do not want your car payments to take up more than 25% of your monthly income. When you go to the car dealership you should give the car salesmen the information about your budget. Remember that when you are deciding how much you can afford to spend, you have expenses beyond the price tag. There is the cost to registration, your insurance and maintenance for the vehicle. When you put down on paper what you can afford to spend, you put yourself in a better position to not spend more than you want to.
- Get your financing. You may want to start out by running your credit report. You will want to see what potential creditors see when they look at your financial information. You should try to get some financing lined up before you head over to the car dealership. The first place you should go is to your bank. Do you have a mortgage? If you do, talk to your mortgage lender and see if they are willing to offer you a loan for your car. If they turn you down, you can also try local credit unions. They are often much more likely to offer help. If you go into any auto dealerships with a car loan option, they may offer you a much better deal than they would have if you had not gone to the trouble of this added step.
- Decide what you want. Before you do to any car dealership, you should know what kind of car you want. What are you going to use the car for? Will you be driving it a lot? Do you have a large family? Do your kids play a lot of sports? Is this car for a teenager? Do you need to haul a lot of stuff in your truck? What you will use the vehicle for will determine a lot about what kind of vehicle would be best for you and your family.
- Do some online research. Look for vehicles online. Research your various options and choices. If getting an environmentally friendly car is important to you, you might want to look into getting a hybrid. After you have limited your choices by what you need the vehicle for, look up the makes and models that will work for those needs. When you go to the car dealership, you will be in a much better position if you have an idea about what you are looking to buy.
- Head out to the used car dealership. After you have given your car needs some thought and you have narrowed your choices down and done some research into all of them, the time has come to head out to the car dealership. You should know that the car salespeople at the car dealership are not out to sell you something you do not need or cannot afford. They want to make a sale but they want you to be happy with your purchase. They want you to be so happy you give them a good review. They can also be a great resource. Bring the cars you are considering and ask about each. Take a test drive of all of the cars that you think interest you.
- Enjoy your car. Buying a used car does not have to be as stressful as you may think. Once you have found the car you want, drive it off the lot and enjoy it.
Follow these tips to make sure you get the car you need and can afford.